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Author Topic:   Identifying false religions.
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 347 of 479 (570658)
07-28-2010 5:44 AM
Reply to: Message 344 by RAZD
07-27-2010 10:54 PM


Re: The rationality of the burden of proof
The conclusion that it is "highly improbable" that god/s do not exist level of atheism is just as irrational as the conclusion that it is "highly probable" that god/s do exist level of theism.
The conclusion that it "is highly improbable\probable" is what makes these conclusions irrational, as they are not supported by anything other than personal opinion, confirmation bias, and wishful thinking.
Actually I believe you are wrong RAZD. Is not it more rational to acknowledge that the burden of proof is required for the one who is proposing the evidence that something/someone exists than the other way around? Do we really have to prove the existance of everything that is proposed to exist in order to be considered 'rational'? Is it as rational to believe in the unsubstantiated existance of dragons, faries, teapots orbiting Uranus or any other flight of fancy that our human minds can conjure up as not believing in these things until emperical evidence can be provided?
Really is that your position?
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 344 by RAZD, posted 07-27-2010 10:54 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 370 by RAZD, posted 07-28-2010 11:42 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 373 of 479 (570843)
07-29-2010 6:29 AM
Reply to: Message 370 by RAZD
07-28-2010 11:42 PM


Re: The rationality of the burden of proof
RAZD writes:
Me writes:
RAZD writes:
The conclusion that it is "highly improbable" that god/s do not exist level of atheism is just as irrational as the conclusion that it is "highly probable" that god/s do exist level of theism.
The conclusion that it "is highly improbable\probable" is what makes these conclusions irrational, as they are not supported by anything other than personal opinion, confirmation bias, and wishful thinking.
Actually I believe you are wrong RAZD. Is not it more rational to acknowledge that the burden of proof is required for the one who is proposing the evidence that something/someone exists than the other way around?
The burden of proof is born by anyone claiming knowledge that something exists or is likely to exist AND by anyone claiming knowledge that something does not exist or is not likely to exist.
Again I disagree. Science does not place equal footing for the burden of proof on both the claim of knowledge that "something exists or is likely to exist" and "something does not exist or is not likely to exist". Please show me where in science that it does so. Again, if you place equal burden of proof for both than we have to accept all the pseudoscientific claims as they cannot be adequately disproven through science. In fact nothing can be 100% disproven as science always speaks in terms of probability, including the probability of existance.
Napoleon stated once to French mathematician and astronomer Pierre-Simon Laplace: How can this be! You made the system of the world, you explain the laws of all creation, but in all your book you speak not once of the existence of God.
In response Laplace aptly replied: Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis.
Laplace also stated the following: "The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness".
Or as Carl Sagan restates: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
The burden of proof is born by anyone asserting that you must believe or consider the validity of a claim.
Here is the catch. Science begins at the foundation of the non-existance of phenomena. It is up to the scientist or group of scientists to show evidence for the validity that certain physical phenomena to exist. Not the other way around. We don't automatically assume something exists in science, we must show evidence of its existance whether it be biological cells, viruses, atoms, electrons, quarks, 1-dimensional strings, gravitons, or any other proposed physical phenomena.
We must start somewhere in the scientific search and that somewhere is the non-existance of phenomena whether that be gravitons or God.
Have to run to work, will continue later.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 370 by RAZD, posted 07-28-2010 11:42 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 404 by RAZD, posted 07-29-2010 11:51 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 423 of 479 (571162)
07-30-2010 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 404 by RAZD
07-29-2010 11:51 PM


Re: The rationality of the burden of proof
RAZD writes:
Me writes:
Science does not place equal footing for the burden of proof on both the claim of knowledge that "something exists or is likely to exist" and "something does not exist or is not likely to exist". Please show me where in science that it does so.
But the issue here is not claiming that "something does not exist" it is with claiming to know the likelihood, to have sufficient evidence to make an informed decision.
Why should I claim to know the likelihood of something not-existing when the default position of science is the non-existence of something until shown evidence otherwise?
Proving the non-existence of something is a logical fallacy. Although someone may prove non-existence in special circumstances, such as showing that a box does not contain certain items, one cannot prove the absolute non-existence, or non-existence out of ignorance. In other words one cannot prove something that does not exist in the entire universe. The proof of existence (burden of proof) MUST come from those who make the claims for something’s existence.
For example, it is scientifically impossible to prove the non-existence of fairies. Does that mean fairies exist? Of course not. Science starts from a basis of non-existence until shown evidence that fairies do in fact exist. The same is true with God or any other supernatural being.
Don't you think that someone making a claim that he was convinced, absolutely certain, that god/s do not exist - that he would be making an extraordinary claim?
Yes, of course. However, that does not take away the burden of proof to the person making the claim that something exists. Again, the default position of non-existance is not a claim and attempting to prove the absolute non-existence of something is a logical fallacy.
What would be the rational basis for such a claim, if not objective empirical evidence?
I am not making the claim. A default position of non-existence until shown otherwise is not a claim. It is how science works.
We also know that when there is insufficient evidence to reach an informed conclusion that science is perfectly happy to say "we don't know," and that we have to wait for further information and evidence to be gathered before a conclusion can be rational arrived at.
Many rationally minded scientists as agnostics or even weak atheists may say "I don't know" for certain if God exists or does not exist. That however does not take away the burden of proof from theists to show evidence that God exists. You, RAZD, may say you believe in God, but it has no basis in science but rather personal opinion and pure conjecture until you can show emperical evidence that God exists.
'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams writes:
The Babel fish is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with the nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.
Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen it to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed on the next zebra crossing.
Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book Well That About Wraps It Up For God.
Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
Now RAZD, using your logic, can you proove the non-existance of the Babel fish?
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 404 by RAZD, posted 07-29-2010 11:51 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 427 by RAZD, posted 07-30-2010 11:42 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 429 of 479 (571285)
07-31-2010 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 427 by RAZD
07-30-2010 11:42 PM


Re: really?
RAZD writes:
No, the default position is that we don't know.
So the default position of dragons, unicorns, and any other mythical type creature is that we don't know if they exist because we can't prove absolutely that they don't exist?
Really!?!
Logic dictates that the burden of proof lies with the one make a ontologically positive claim aka claim of the existance of something. Not the other way around.
RAZD writes:
Take the graviton as an example of something that is claimed to exist but for which there is currently no objective empirical evidence that it exists
Yes, but gravitons are predicted in physics (specifically quantum field theory). There is also indirect evidence (inference) for gravitational radiation to exist. This indirect evidence comes from observing the spin of a binary pulsar (PSR 1913 + 16 ). As the pulsar orbits around a companion star that is nearby (most likely another neutron star), the orbital energy of the system was observed to decrease slightly over a time of several years. The decrease appeared to be consistent with the amount of decrease predicted by general relativity from the radiation of gravitational energy.
There are also several experiments currently underway i.e. LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and VIRGO (Virgo interferometer) that will possibly detect gravitational waves (not invidividual gravitons) in the near future.
That is a lot more that we can say for the existance of God IMHO.
RAZD writes:
it is possible that they exist, there is no evidence that shows they do not exist, and this theory (logical construction) implies that they exist, let's see if we can find evidence that they exist.
I don't know, there is insufficient objective empirical evidence at this point to say, but
let's see if we can find out, or
we'll have to wait until more evidence becomes available.
no they don't exist. Don't waste your time looking for them.
That is not how science works. We don't just conjure up ideas like gravitons in a vacuum of knowledge and evidence. Concepts such as gravitons are derived or infered based on previous knowledge (A Posteriori). Scientists believe gravitons to exist because of previous knowledge not in spite of it.
RAZD writes:
Now if one made either the claim that gravitons absolutely exist OR that gravitons absolutely do not exist, then they would need to provide evidence to support that position.
Agreed. However, like I said earlier, proposed phenomena such as gravitons are usually backed by prior ontologically positive knowledge and science works on the basis of positive ontological arguments not negative ones.
RAZD writes:
When the doorbell rings, do you assume a default position that no-one is there, or do you open the door to see who\what made the bell ring?
But the doorbell itself is emperical evidence that something occurred.
RAZD writes:
Agreed, and therefore it is irrational to claim that something absolutely (or that it is highly likely that something) does not exist.
Working from a basis of non-existance is not a claim it is a priori knowledge. It is the default position, not a claim. I am not claiming or asserting that God does not exist, I am inferring (deducing) he does not exist until shown otherwise, just like I deduce that teapots don't orbit Jupiter, unicorns don't exist, pigs can't fly, etc, etc ad infinitim. There is a difference.
Science (human process of assimilating, analyzing and understanding knowledge about the universe we live in) does not start from a position that everything and anything could exist. Rather it works from the premise that only things that follow the laws of the universe could possibly exist and only exist when shown evidence of their existance (whether that is indicitive of reality or not is irrelevent as science is an approach to understanding reality not reality itself). If science did not work that way than it would be impossible to make predictions and hypothesis of how the universe functions understanding that an infinite amount of 'things' 'could exist'.
But the claim that "X absolutely does not exist" would have to be substantiated by the evidence that you refer to above, or it is just a delusional claim.
Again you are using the word claim. I am not. See above. We are talking past each other.
RAZD writes:
Likewise a claim that "it is likely that X does not exist" assumes a level of knowledge of a sufficient proportion of the universe to allow one to make an informed conclusion of the likelihood.
Again, I am not claiming anything. The burden of proof lies with the ones making assertations. I am not making any such claim. God may or may not exist. Still, the burden of proof for evidence lies with the one making the positive ontological argument that God exists not with the one saying that because there is no emperical evidence of God existing, they do not believe God to exist.
RAZD writes:
The claim of knowing the likelihood is a positive claim, and it certainly bears a burden of proof.
Most atheists, even die hard ones like Richard Dawkins, do not claim they 'know' with certainity that God does not exist (because it is logically impossible to prove a negative claim with 100% certainty). However it is also impossible to prove a postive claim with 100% certainty (the sun rose yesterday but can you be 100% certain it will rise tomorrow). Either way the burden of proof lies more with the person making a positive claim that God exists vice the other way around i.e.
Richard Dawkins writes:
A friend, an intelligent lapsed Jew who observes the Sabbath for reasons of cultural solidarity, describes himself as a Tooth Fairy Agnostic. He will not call himself an atheist because it is in principle impossible to prove a negative.
But "agnostic" on its own might suggest that he though God's existence or non-existence equally likely. In fact, though strictly agnostic about God, he considers God's existence no more probable than the Tooth Fairy's.
Bertrand Russell used a hypothetical teapot in orbit about Mars for the same didactic purpose. You have to be agnostic about the teapot, but that doesn't mean you treat the likelihood of its existence as being on all fours with its non-existence.
The list of things about which we strictly have to be agnostic doesn't stop at tooth fairies and celestial teapots. It is infinite. If you want to believe in a particular one of them -- teapots, unicorns, or tooth fairies, Thor or Yahweh -- the onus is on you to say why you believe in it. The onus is not on the rest of us to say why we do not. We who are atheists are also a-fairyists, a-teapotists, and a-unicornists, but we don't have to bother saying so.
RAZD writes:
And some that are theists.
True
RAZD writes:
Or from atheists that claim to have some inside knowledge of the likelihood that god/s do not exist.
Again replace the word god(s) with unicorns, vampires, werewolfs, leprecauns, yeti, the loch ness monster, big foot, or any other mythological creature and see how ludicrous this sounds. Seriously. If we operated science in this way we would be in serious trouble.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 427 by RAZD, posted 07-30-2010 11:42 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 443 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 4:06 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 451 of 479 (571465)
07-31-2010 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 443 by RAZD
07-31-2010 4:06 PM


Re: really?
RAZD writes:
Hi DevilsAdvocate, this is getting long and repetitious.
Maybe because your argument is not convincing. Just a thought.
You do not think it is getting repititious on my end repeating the same things over and over?
And the person making the positive claim to have evidence or knowledge that they know something.
The default position of the non-existance of something is not a positive claim.
Again, see Pseudoskepticism and logic where this has been discussed
I have been reading it and your argument falls flat in my and many others opinions but I will continue reading this thread.
RAZD writes:
Me writes:
Yes, but gravitons are predicted in physics (specifically quantum field theory).
A prediction is not evidence, it is a logical conclusion that needs to be tested to see if it is true or not.
This is not that difficult to figure out RAZD. Again, predictions are not made in a vacuum of evidence. Predictions are made on a foundation of previous evidence.
According to you, because we don't know whether they exist of not, we should by default believe that they do not exist.
No, you misunderstand what I am saying. We should work from a position of non-existance and confirm that they exist by showing evidence they exist. How hard is this to understand.
Besides we do have indications and indirect evidence that gravitons may exist, we just have not confirmed beyond a reasonable doubt that they do exist.
But they do not have specific evidence that gravitons exist. Some scientists may have an opinion based on previous experience, but that opinion is not based on evidence that gravitons per se exist.
It is not just opinion based on experience, it is predictions made on indirect evidence as I showed with the decreasing orbital energy of the binary pulsar. There is evidence, just not enough yet to say without a shadow of doubt that gravitons actually exist. There is a difference here.
Phenomena such as gravitons either exist or do not exist. Something can't 50% exist. Science has to start from somewhere. If it starts with, like you said, a possibility that anything and everything can exist than you are saying it is up to science to falsify everything from supernatural beings to unicorns. Again, science does not work this way. It cannot work this way whether you says it does or not.
And when that time comes, then one can make an informed conclusion whether or not gravitons exist. Until then the default is that we do not know (but we can investigate to see, or wait for more evidence).
Again replace the word graviton with any other conjured up concept i.e. flying spaghetti monster, pink dragons, etc. and ask yourself if this makes sense.
An opinion that god/s may not exist is not a claim that needs to be substantiated, it is the claim to have special knowledge about the likelihood, or to have absolute knowledge of the truth, that bears the burden of proof. As you agreed in the case of gravitons.
The issue here is that we can claim in infinite number of things that can possibly exist, from God to purple lamas. However, without any evidence to base these conjectures on, their is no reason to even ask the question. Gravitons at least have a reason to be considered to exist. There is a framework of emperical evidence which supports its possible existance even if this evidence does not undeniably confirm their existance. Can you say the same for the concept of God? Is there a framework of emperical evidence on which to suppose his existance?
And it's called special pleading when you do not take the same position on other claims, example gravitons.
I do make the same position with gravitons. Gravitons are assumed not to exist until shown evidence they exist as well. This is the position science must work from. If science worked from the premise that anything and everything conceived by man is thought to exist or than their would be no way to filter out what is worth investigating (black holes) and not investigating (big foot).
I think we are talking past each other. I am talking about how to determine reality not what reality actually is.
Science works from the premise of non-existance even if reality may be otherwise. Science is not reality, it is the process of determing reality (the process of discovery of the existance of things). Science must work from a foundation of non-existance until shown evidence that something exists not that anything could possibly exist until shown evidence that they don't exist.
The problem with your flowchart is that science does not consider unsubstantiated opinions to hold water This may work for philosophy but not for science.
I think below is more accurate in determining the validty of phenomena:
Dump all those concepts in (C) and wait to see if evidence turns up. One can be skeptical of their existence, yet open-minded enough to consider that they may be true, but that there is insufficient evidence on which to base an (A) type informed conclusion at this time.
Than you must be open-minded enought to consider to not be skeptical of UFOs, Big Foot, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or an infinite number of supposed phenomena. In other words, you have no way of weeding out pseudoscientific claims from real science.
People have scientifically investigated yeti, the loch ness monster, big foot, and aliens, because they have a personal interest in finding the truth of those concepts.
Are you honestly that naive to think the majority of people 'scientifically' study these phenomena in the same manner that real scientists study the universe around us? Most people who study these phenomena come with emotionally-charged preconceived notions that these phenomena exist and attempt to find or even contrive evidence for their existance. Humans are a gullible bunch.
And further, this category also includes all hypothesized scientific phenomena that is currently not validated or invalidated by objective empirical evidence, including gravitons.
Are you fucking serious RAZD in lumping the study of gravitons by scientists with the snake-oil pseudoscience of searching for UFO's, big foot, loch ness monster and the like. Please tell me this is not true RAZD. I have admired most of your posts up until now. I am not trying to be mean or conduct an ad hominum attack, just being brutally honest.
Thanks again for the debate.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 443 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 4:06 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 453 by DBlevins, posted 07-31-2010 9:26 PM DevilsAdvocate has not replied
 Message 456 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 10:26 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 452 of 479 (571469)
07-31-2010 8:47 PM
Reply to: Message 450 by RAZD
07-31-2010 6:49 PM


Re: Gravitons and galloping god/s versus {this post}
You, in essence, are agreeing with my point that the default position in science is not to believe that things do not exist, but one of investigation into the possibility that they may exist.
But only with previous evidence that suggest the possibility of their existance in the first place. I think that is the crux of the impass between my and your argument. What evidence even suggests that God might possibly exist?
Why? How does trotting out the atheist's pet straw-man demonstrate that the default position in science is that "X does not exist"?
That is not a strawman. It is a rational and logical deduction. If you assume the possibility of God's existance, you must assume the possibility of an infinite number of other phenomena/things that the human mind could possibly conjure up as existing, including pink unicorns.
could also compare it to the statement that "{this post} does not exist" - which is easily falsified by anyone reading {this post}, and demonstrating that when the complete possible evidence set of (this post) is known it is possible to see that it contains a post that falsifies the statement.
Can you falsify the claim that pink unicorns do not exist? Really? Please show me how. Now falsify that God does not exist. Nope, can't do it either can you. Science works off of positive claims not negative ones. Scientific claims must be falsifiable.
Amusingly, that also does not demonstrate that the default position in science would be that {this post} does not exist.
But there is evidence it does exist (we are reading it). If we never had evidence in the first place indicating its existance than the default position is that this post does not exist. Furthermore there would be no reason to even ask the question. Get it?!?
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 450 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 6:49 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 455 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 10:04 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 458 of 479 (571549)
08-01-2010 4:02 AM
Reply to: Message 455 by RAZD
07-31-2010 10:04 PM


Re: Gravitons and galloping god/s versus {this post}
If you assume the possibility of God's existance, you must assume the possibility of an infinite number of other phenomena/things that the human mind could possibly conjure up as existing, including pink unicorns.
Come on RAZD, you are more intelligent than this. Stop evading.
Because if you assumed the possibility of god's existance, and there is no evidence that he does exist, than what is to say anything else could possibly exist that is created by the human mind.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 455 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 10:04 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 462 by RAZD, posted 08-01-2010 9:49 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 460 of 479 (571555)
08-01-2010 5:01 AM
Reply to: Message 456 by RAZD
07-31-2010 10:26 PM


Re: really?
Hi again DevilsAdvocate, please try to respond to my actual position.
I have been. I just disagree with it.
The default position of not knowing whether a claim is true or false at this time is not a positive claim, nor is it a negative claim. It is an honest claim.
All claims are either positive or negative i.e. "God exists" or "God does not exist" and this why. You can choose not to believe or disbelieve the claim, but the claim itself has to be positive or negative. Saying you are not sure if a claim is true or false is not a claim, it is an opinion on that claim.
The claim that something does not exist is a claim to know the truth, or an assumption of truth without knowledge. It is a dishonest claim unless supported by evidence.
So the claim that unicorns do not exist is an assumption of truth without knowledge? Really? We just automatically assume that unicorns can possibly exist somewhere out there in the universe until proven otherwise? How about green speckled gouda monsters? Do they possibly exist out there? How about flying spaghetti monsters? Scintillating Jeweled Scuttling Crabs or the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast? Do they possibly exist?
Also, what is an "honest claim" or a "dishonest claim"? Claim's are either true or false. Honesty has nothing to do with it. Honesty is a personal behavior which is irrelevent to whether something is true or not. One can be a dishonest person and make a true statement/claim i.e. "the earth is a spheroid", or one can be honest and unwittingly make a false statement "the earth is flat".
RAZD writes:
Me writes:
Than you must be open-minded enought to consider to not be skeptical of UFOs, Big Foot, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or an infinite number of supposed phenomena.
No, skeptical AND open-minded. They may be true and they may be false, at this point I am not aware of sufficient information to make an informed conclusion, are you?
Sure, there is sufficient information to make a rational conclusion that these things probably do not exist. However, that is besides the point, the scientific and logical position is that they are assumed to not exist until show evidence otherwise (otherwise known as a null hypothesis), not that they possibly exist until shown evidence that they don't exist. One does not have to prove a null hypothesis in science but you must always attempt to disprove a null hypothesis in science to reach a scientific and logical deduction of whether a hypothesis concerning a phenomena is correct or not. A null hypothesis is "a general or default position, such as that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena". In mathematic terms "the null hypothesis attempts to show that no variation exists between variables, or that a single variable is no different than zero. It is presumed to be true until statistical evidence nullifies it for an alternative hypothesis." Since non-existance is equated to be 0 (a set with no members, remeber existance is something and non-existance is nothing) on the scale of existance, non-existance is a null hypothesis which must be proven false scientifically aka that something exists (is not 0).
So, again the burden of proof is on the person making a positive claim to the existance of something/anything not to the person holding the null hypothesis that something does not exist until shown evidence otherwise.
Then neither do you. Assuming that something is false when you have inadequate information on which to make such an assesment does not mean they actually are false - that can only be done by investigation into their validity - nor does it lead to any weeding out of your pseudoskeptical claims of knowing more than the evidence shows
Hitting head on brick wall. I can weed these out because I assume EVERYTHING does not exist until shown evidence that it does. That certainly can weed out pseudoscientific claims such as ESP, astrology, and the like. Please show me I am wrong.
Then you should also be brutally honest with your own position.
I am.
Until something is known it is not known.
True. By "known" do you mean it has evidence indicating it exists? If so than it then becomes known to exist. If not that means that either:
a. The question would not come up in the first place since this something is not known to possibly exist or not exist or
b. This something would be known to not have enough sufficient evidence indicating it positively exists (i.e. big foot).
Either way it is assumed this "something" is assumed not exist until given enough evidence that it does exist. Remember this is an attempt to deduce the reality of whether something exists or does not exist. Our attempt or process (science) used to assess its existance has no bearing on whether it actually exists or not.
Do you agree with this?
You can have an opinion, but you should not pretend that your opinion is true, it is just your best guess based on known available evidence, your world view, personal experiences and biases.
True.
If you are brutally honest with yourself, then you will see this.
I am and do see this. How does this support your position that we must start from the premise that anything can possibly exist and it is up to us to prove its non-existance?
It is your (and every theists/deist) job to provide good reason to accept the claim that God exists, not mine to disprove it. You may say God exists, I say I don't believe you. I don't believe you because it's silly and irrational to accept spurious claims without evidence indicating otherwise.
This is not a belief, it is an a priori position of non-belief just like atheism is not the 'belief there is not any god(s)', it is 'the position of non-belief in god(s)'. Big difference. I do not need to 'believe' that the easter bunny or Santa Claus does not exist, I assume they doesn't exist until shown evidence otherwise.
Your position holds no water RAZD. Your turn to dodge and weave.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 456 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 10:26 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 461 of 479 (571558)
08-01-2010 5:42 AM
Reply to: Message 454 by RAZD
07-31-2010 10:03 PM


Re: Gravitons
And yet you still have an absolute vacuum of evidence that gravitons actually objectively and empirically exist.
What we have with gravitons is enough evidence to suggest that they may in fact exist. We just do not have enough evidence that undeniably 'proves' their existance without a shadow of a doubt.
They may in fact not exist, but their is enough evidence to suggest they do.
Just because you can hypothesize that they exist does not magically make them exist,
Of course not and no one is suggesting this to be true.
or cause any reason not to take the putative default position.
And what default position is that?
The hard thing for the two of you to realize it seems is that no matter how you blather on about the evidence that leads up to the hypothesis of gravitons,
Just because we don't agree with you doesn't mean you have to be a fucking jerk and a prick.
the claim that the default position is that things do not exist is falsified by your absolute failure to take this position on gravitons.
Here is where your comprehensions skills are lacking RAZD (how do you like that one, see I can be a fucking prick too). The position is that they do not exist until shown evidence indicating that they do exist. However their IS sufficient EVIDENCE that indicates that they are very likely to exist but not enough to undeniably confirm their existance scientifically. That is the scientific position at this time.
Now if you can show evidence that God is very likely to or even may possibily exists, I am all ears.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 454 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 10:03 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 464 of 479 (571633)
08-01-2010 3:49 PM
Reply to: Message 462 by RAZD
08-01-2010 9:49 AM


Re: Evading? or asking your to clarify your claim?
Evading what? I've asked you why you think I must assume the possibility of an infinite number of other phenomena/things. It seems to me the logical fallacy of hasty generalization.
How is asking why you give special credance to the existance of one supposed supernatural being, God, over any other contrived being a 'hasty generalization'? Again you are dodging the question.
But I don't assume the possibility, the possibility exists because there is a lack of invalidating evidence and no conflict in logic.
Than so to must you assume the possibility of existance of an infinite number of other supernatural beings using your logic. Can you diprove the existance of Xenu, Ra, Mithra, Allah, Zeus, Odin, Osirus, Horus, Brahma, Ahura Mazda, etc ad infinitim. What distinguishes your god to be considered for existance besides the others?
Except that I make no claim about what you need to believe.
Because I am not making a claim that any deities exist.
To argue that I must believe something that you personally do not believe, would seem to me to be intellectually dishonest
What am I asking you to believe? I am just asking you to understand that if you make a claim for the existance of something i.e. God that it is up to that person to back up his claim, not the person who is not taking a position advocating the non-existance of things until shown evidence that they exist. Again the default position of non-existance is not a belief it is the null hypothesis of human understanding of reality.
What I believe, for clarification purposes (and so you don't misrepresent it), is that god/s exist (or did exist) that were involved in the creation of the universe.
Than the burden of proof is on you not me to show evidence to support this claim.
belief is non-rational, as it is not based on evidence or logic
Perposterous. All human understanding is based on beliefs. Why? Because humans cannot possibly know everything about the reality we live in. The real question is are our beliefs rational or irrational based on the knowledge base we corrently have (as a species, not as individuals).
Beliefs can be rational if based on valid and verifiable evidence. Or irrational if they are not backed up by adequate evidence. For example, I believe evolution to be correct because of the evidence that backs it up. That is a rational belief.
Here is a definition of belief (more accurately rational belief) given by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Merriam-Webster writes:
conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
NOTE FURTHER that this is a personal belief, and that I don't regard it as anything more than personal opinion, based on my worldview, life experiences and biases: I do not ask you - or anyone else - to believe it.
Ok, whatever floats your boat. But don't put the onus on me to disprove your unsubstantiated beliefs.
Now, if you are going to claim that the IPU fits that belief, as an entity involved in the creation of the universe, then it is already covered by my belief.
Do you see now why the IPU is a straw man argument?
I have no idea what IPU is, so how am I going to ask how it fits into your belief. Are you sure you are not referring to someone else?
Ok, never mind, just figured it out, invisible pink unicorn. LOL. BTW, I did not originally bring IPU up, I just plagerized the idea from someone else's post.
I assume you think IPU possibly exists until someone can prove its existance or non-existance. Am I correct?
If so, I could care less that you believe this to be true. Just don't expect me to provide evidence that it does not exist. Same go's with your god.
Like gravitons? Or anything else that can be conceived by the human mind based on worldview, life experiences and biases AND that someone else actually believes?
Sure. I already said gravitons are assumed not to exist until given sufficient evidence that they do exist.
And the claim that a specific claim is more likely to be false than true is a positive claim of likelihood.
Agreed which is why I am not making this claim. Non-existance is not a 'likelihood'.
An honest claim is one that you believe to be true, a dishonest one is a claim that you yourself do not believe is true but you ask others to believe.
Like the IPU etc.
Only because I am trying to get you to think about the logic of your position. I am not honestly requiring you to believe IPU's to exist. It is more of a retorical comment not an actual claim to understand why you place greater emphasis on the possibility of god(s) to exist than IPUs.
Ok, have to run. Will come back and answer the rest.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 462 by RAZD, posted 08-01-2010 9:49 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 477 by RAZD, posted 08-01-2010 11:16 PM DevilsAdvocate has not replied

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