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Author Topic:   The persistent question of evidence (RAZD and subbie only)
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 11 of 42 (604408)
02-11-2011 6:54 PM


Definitions
It seems to me that the first place to start is to define some terms. I have thoughts in mind that I will supply when I have a bit more time than I do now, but I'd like to see what you have in mind as well.

Evidence: what does it mean for something to be evidence for or against a particular proposition?

God: what do you mean when you talk about god?

We won't get anywhere productive without agreeing when something is or is not evidence of a particular fact, nor will we unless we agree about what we are talking about when we talk about god.

Also, as I mentioned in my post in the Topic Proposal thread, I'd like this to be a stand alone debate. Feel free to quote from anything else you said in any other conversation (with or without quotation notation), but please don't simply refer to another conversation and ask me to read that for purposes of this discussion.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by RAZD, posted 02-13-2011 7:30 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 13 of 42 (604649)
02-13-2011 9:27 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by RAZD
02-13-2011 7:30 PM


Re: Definitions
I can't guarantee rapid response as (a) I am busy with personal matters now, more than ever, due to some changes (non-health related), and (b) I am now involved in (3) great debates.

No worries. I can't guarantee a rapid response either, because I'm lazy and want to mull these things over, and probably take them up in a piecemeal fashion.

In this regard evidence for something needs to be objective empirical evidence that positively supports a scientific hypothesis, and evidence against a particular proposition would be evidence that invalidates it.

Well, I agree as far as that goes. But what does it mean to say that something is evidence supporting or invalidating a hypothesis? Perhaps this seems self-evident, something not in need of definition. But I think it's crucial for us to agree on what this word means.

As I imagine you are aware, I'm an attorney. Let me begin with the definition of evidence that the law uses and see where that gets us.

Fact X is evidence is support of hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y more probable than it would be without. The converse, obviously, would be that fact X is evidence against hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y less probable than it would be without. Evidence does not need to conclusively establish or invalidate a hypothesis by itself to be evidence in support of or against a hypothesis.

For example, the genetic similarity between humans and chimps is evidence in support of the ToE, but does not by itself make one conclude that the ToE is valid.

Generally speaking I don't talk about god/s per se, except in general terms that are commonly used.

If we cannot agree on what we mean when we talk about the existence or non existence of gods, I can't conceive of how we can rationally discuss the question.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by RAZD, posted 02-13-2011 7:30 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 02-17-2011 6:15 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 15 of 42 (605461)
02-19-2011 11:43 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by RAZD
02-17-2011 6:15 PM


Mish mash
Well, there's quite a mish mash of stuff in that post. In no particular order....

And that different levels of evidence are used depending on how much doubt is allowed in the decisions, and what is resting on the conclusion (is it the ownership of a car or life and death?).

No, the rules of evidence are pretty much the same regardless of what type of trial it is. The level of proof differs from criminal to civil, and different levels of proof in different types of civil actions as well. I'm not really sure what you're saying here, or what it has to do with this discussion.

One thing we need to be agreed on, is that the evidence requirements are the same, pro and con.

I just sorta skimmed your summation of your discussions with others because they don't really interest me at the moment. I do agree that the standard of evidence has to be the same for both sides. My question still remains: do you agree with my definition of "evidence?"

I would point out that if you want to admit this kind of evidence, then the overwhelming evidence of a majority of people in the world that believe in god/s is evidence that god/s exist and that it is supported by religious documents and reports of religious experiences used by people in substantiating their beliefs. I'm sure you're aware of such people here in this forum, for example.

I'm certainly aware that there are people who believe in different gods. My argument is that the tremendous diversity and lack of consensus suggests that there is not in fact an actual being behind those beliefs. If there were, there would be agreement. If course, this argument would be clearer if we could agree at some level about what constitutes a god for purposes of this discussion. As I said before, without this agreement, it's futile to discuss what constitutes evidence supporting the existence or non-existence of gods. Would you care to take a stab and defining god for purposes of our discussion?


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 02-17-2011 6:15 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by RAZD, posted 02-20-2011 4:39 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 17 of 42 (605526)
02-20-2011 5:40 PM


Branching begins here
It seems that our various posts are raising multiple issues that might be more clearly addressed for now in separate subthreads. I shall endeavor to subtitle these separate subthreads to hopefully make it easier to follow them. This is likely to result in multiple responses to single posts initially.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 18 of 42 (605527)
02-20-2011 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by RAZD
02-20-2011 4:39 PM


Evidence definition
For now, we seem to agree with this statement as at least one part of our definition of evidence:

Fact X is evidence is support of hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y more probable than it would be without.

I do agree with your concern about subjective evidence. We could reduce that concern by adding a requirement that evidence must be objectively available for others to review and verify.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by RAZD, posted 02-20-2011 4:39 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by RAZD, posted 02-20-2011 8:29 PM subbie has acknowledged this reply

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 19 of 42 (605529)
02-20-2011 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by RAZD
02-20-2011 4:39 PM


Basic questions
Let me ask you some basic questions before we go further on this. Assuming (for the sake of the argument) that god/s exist:

1. Do you think it is possible for a human mind, especially a pre-scientific mind, to completely understand god/s, or only able to assimilate some parts of the whole?

2. Do you think it likely that god/s would appear, or be perceived, exactly the same to different individuals, especially individuals from different cultures with different backgrounds, and especially when taking the ability of individuals to understand the god/s into account?

3. If the only means of communication between humans (or any earthly organism, we don't have to be the "chosen" species) is via religious experiences, where the experience occurs within the mind, then can you suggest some means to test whether this is actually happening or being imagined?

These are questions I have asked myself and used in the formation of my personal opinion about the existence of god/s.

Imho, if, and only if, you can honestly answer "yes" to both (1) and (2) would your observation of differences in details have some merit, otherwise we would need to look at the consilience between all the various trees and other elements\aspects to determine what the concept of the forest would entail.

Well, I first note that 1 seems to include two questions that cannot both be answered in the affirmative as they seem to be asking opposite things. I suspect scrivener's error.

As before, the difficulty in proceeding lies in the fact that we don't know what we are talking about when we say "god/s." If I assume that by "god" you simply mean a supernatural creation by superstitious pre-scientific humans in an effort to explain to their satisfaction certain natural phenomenon that they don't understand, then it's perfectly reasonable to suppose that they could completely understand gods since gods are their creation. It's also reasonable to suppose that they could create gods to be completely inscrutable.

If we suppose that we're talking about some kind of trickster god who wants to use humans as his catspaw for amusement, it's easy to imagine that it would be impossible for any human mind to comprehend that god because he might be deliberately misleading us.

If we suppose a benevolent, omnipotent god who only wants to guide us to a more perfect existence, then I would assume that such a god would be able to make himself known to any human in ways that that human understands and would still be consistent with any other interaction with any other human.

I'm not sure your forest analogy is apt. A forest is a collection of millions of different entities, a god is a single entity. (Unless you are suggesting that we broaden our discussion to include a pantheon. Since we so far seem unable to arrive at an agreement on what "god" means, it would seem counterproductive to instead switch the discussion to a group of them.) Perhaps you meant to suggest that "god" could be a collection of many different attributes, some of which he displays to one group and others of which he displays to another. I must reject this suggestion unless you are willing to commit to a trickster god, because it's clear to me that there are multiple inconsistent attributes among the various world religions. And I cannot conceive of how a benevolent, omnipotent god could account for multiple inconsistent religions.

This is not evidence for the existence of god/s, but rather evidence concerning the relative (in)ability of humans to understand and perceive god/s as a single gestalt concept.

Surely a benevolent, omnipotent god could at least make himself known to humans in a consistent manner.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by RAZD, posted 02-20-2011 4:39 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by RAZD, posted 02-20-2011 10:19 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 22 of 42 (605736)
02-21-2011 8:36 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by RAZD
02-20-2011 10:19 PM


Re: Basic questions, some answers, some redirects
You'll excuse me if I just take this as a fancy way of avoiding the questions,

Please, do me the courtesy of assuming that I mean what I say, rather than trying spin it into something you think you can use to advance the debate. If you insist on reading what I write to mean something else, this discussion is pointless.

Assuming (for the sake of the argument) that god/s exist:

1. Do you think it is possible for a human mind to completely understand god/s?

2. Do you think it is possible for a pre-scientific mind, say the mind of a 30k year ago Cro-Magnon, for example, to completely understand god/s?

3. Do you think it likely that god/s would appear, or be perceived, exactly the same to different individuals?

4. Do you think it likely that god/s would appear, or be perceived, exactly the same to individuals from different cultures with different knowledge backgrounds?

5. Do you think that different abilities to understand between individuals would affect their ability to understand god/s to the same degree?

That should answer some of your first complaint. This is based, not on what we know or don't know about god/s, per se, but on the ability of the human mind to understand things outside our knowledge base AND the ability of humans to be faithful recorders of what we have observed.

I'm sure with your experience as a lawyer you are familiar with the degree of precision (or lack thereof) in human witnesses to faithfully record what happened in a set circumstance.

For the above exercise you could assume that instead of {god/s} you could use {some being acting in ways you do not understand} and ask the same questions.

If we assume that a god is a being that humans do not understand, then a natural consequence of that is that humans will not understand it, whether pre-scientific, from different cultures and different backgrounds, or with different abilities. Thus, tautologically, the answer to questions 1 and 2 is yes.

I cannot assess the likelihood of a god appearing the same to different people without knowing more about the god. Thus, I cannot answer questions 3, 4 and 5, other than to note that differences in cultures, backgrounds and abilities often generally affect how people perceive, recall and relate any experience. If it will advance our discussion, I will concede that it's possible that if a god existed, that god could be perceived differently by different people from different cultures and different backgrounds and with different abilities, and I think it's possible that if there were a god, it might be an entity that human minds could not completely understand.

You criticize the various hypothetical examples of gods that I used in an attempt to show why your questions cannot yet be answered. I was not in any way trying to proffer these as actual examples of possible gods, but simply to demonstrate the futility of pursuing your questions in the absence of some sort of definition of god.

subbie writes:

Surely a benevolent, omnipotent god could at least make himself known to humans in a consistent manner.

So then we need to throw this out of the definition. That would be the scientific approach yes? to discard elements that are essentially falsified to refine the concept further?

Yes, I'm more than willing to discard any definition of a god that has been falsified by logic or human experience.

subbie writes:

I must reject this suggestion unless you are willing to commit to a trickster god, because it's clear to me that there are multiple inconsistent attributes among the various world religions.

Or that some of the differences may be due to human embellishment/s.

Yes, I'm also willing to attribute any aspect of religious beliefs to human embellishment.

* If the only means of communication between humans (or any intelligent organism, we don't have to be the "chosen" species) is via religious experiences, where the experience occurs within the mind, then can you suggest some means to test whether this is actually happening or being imagined?

Can we test for imagination versus actual religious experiences?

Nothing comes immediately to mind.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by RAZD, posted 02-20-2011 10:19 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by RAZD, posted 02-28-2011 4:20 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 24 of 42 (606859)
02-28-2011 4:59 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by RAZD
02-28-2011 4:20 PM


Re: are the preliminaries done?
This is only a partial response to one single question from your post. I shall address other points if it becomes necessary.

So are we ready for you to present your argument?

No.

I have stated several times that it's impossible to discuss evidence for or against god without a definition of "god." I see two possible alternatives. The first is that you could supply a definition for purposes of this discussion. The second is that we could go, in serial fashion, through every different concept of "god" that people currently do or in the past have believed to exist. The latter seems ridiculous and unnecessary.

Unless and until we can agree on what a "god" consists of, I can't conceive of a way to proceed. Perhaps you have another idea. Or perhaps you are ready to supply a definition.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by RAZD, posted 02-28-2011 4:20 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by RAZD, posted 02-28-2011 5:30 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 26 of 42 (607107)
03-02-2011 1:36 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by RAZD
02-28-2011 5:30 PM


Re: ... are the preliminaries done? or are we at an impasse?
And again, sadly, I am unable to define what I feel is essentially undefinable, especially in any detail, virtually by definition, I cannot define a mechanism for making a universe, let alone a being that would do it. Powers and abilities that are often attributed (omnithis and omnithat) don't define a being, per se.

This is absurd.

You are taking the position that it's impossible for someone to prove or disprove the existence of a being you are unable to define or describe with any degree of detail or clarity. I will have to concede that your challenge is impossible. I cannot prove the non-existence of an undefined entity.

If anyone else wants to take a stab at this fool's errand, I hereby abandon this Great Debate.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by RAZD, posted 02-28-2011 5:30 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 1:02 PM subbie has acknowledged this reply
 Message 28 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 8:36 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 29 of 42 (607271)
03-02-2011 9:24 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by RAZD
03-02-2011 8:36 PM


Re: Closing
High RAZD

I've got a snorfdoogle named Luxury Yacht living in my pants. I bet you can't disprove that. And I can make my point without any extraneous colors, fonts or boxes.

Envoy.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 8:36 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 10:19 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 31 of 42 (607479)
03-04-2011 12:44 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by RAZD
03-02-2011 10:19 PM


Re: Closing
Curiously, I have no need to prove or disprove your claim: you made it not me.

Amusingly, it turns out that you aren't actually making any claim at all about gods, so there's really nothing to prove or disprove.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 10:19 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 03-05-2011 6:01 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 33 of 42 (607669)
03-05-2011 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by RAZD
03-05-2011 6:01 PM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Would you agree that without a definition of {X} and without evidence pro or con for the existence of {X}, that (C) is the logical position? that (D) is irrational?

Probably, but orienteering was never my strong suit. Where I think you and I depart is about what constitutes evidence pro or con.

I suppose my position can be loosely summarized as follows:

Most (if not all) definitions of "god" include a supernatural component. There has never been any repeatable, objective evidence of any supernatural phenomenon, and all repeatable, objective observations are consistent with a non-supernatural universe. Therefore, all evidence supports the conclusion that there are no supernatural forces operating in the universe.

This position is always subject to modification should new evidence come to light.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 03-05-2011 6:01 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by RAZD, posted 03-06-2011 4:44 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 35 of 42 (607759)
03-06-2011 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by RAZD
03-06-2011 4:44 PM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Can you tell me what "natural laws\forces" would be in a created universe?

Probably not, certainly not if you can't tell me anything about the nature of the supposed creator, or the purpose of creating the universe.

I do hope you're not planning a god of the gaps argument here.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by RAZD, posted 03-06-2011 4:44 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by RAZD, posted 03-06-2011 8:29 PM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 37 of 42 (607789)
03-06-2011 9:52 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by RAZD
03-06-2011 8:29 PM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
As I see it, the created universe would be complete, with all the laws\forces that would govern how everything behaves, they would be what we see as "natural laws\forces" in the world\universe around us, because that is how the universe was made. A well made universe would not need any tinkering.

This, of course, is nothing more than your personal opinion about how universes ought to be, with no evidence to support it. Perhaps you should question your own answer.

But I also don't see any big negative issue with what is normally disparaged as "god of the gaps", as I look at it as an approach that is consistent with the scientific method: try various hypothesis and discard what is falsified.

Then you don't understand the "god of the gaps" position. It assumes that a god is responsible for any phenomenon we don't understand, and takes things that we don't understand as evidence of the existence of a god. This seems to be what you are doing; assuming that the existence of an ordered universe is evidence that a god is responsible for the order.

This relates, again, back to the issue of why would anyone need to frame a conclusion on something where there is insufficient information one way or the other, especially when it is not a life-or-death question.

I have concluded that the complete lack of any reliable evidence for the existence of any gods is a sufficient basis for concluding that there are no gods. I must, as a practical matter, admit the possibility that one or more gods exist but do not affect our universe in any observable manner. However, since there is no evidence of any gods affecting our universe in any observable manner, I simply see no reason to postulate their existence, any more than I see a reason to postulate the existence of Russell's teapot.

This relates, again, back to the issue of why would anyone need to frame a conclusion on something where there is insufficient information one way or the other, especially when it is not a life-or-death question.

Perhaps that question is better addressed to those who claim to have absolutely no doubt that gods do exist.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by RAZD, posted 03-06-2011 8:29 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by RAZD, posted 03-07-2011 11:51 AM subbie has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 205 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


(2)
Message 39 of 42 (607910)
03-07-2011 6:36 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by RAZD
03-07-2011 11:51 AM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Amusingly, I do. However it is not personal opinion, it is a logical deduction:

Really? Let's see.

If god/s created the universe
then we should see either the hand of god actively manipulating things
or we should see laws\forces put in place so that manipulation is not necessary.

Nope, nothing logical there, simply assumptions. You chided me earlier in this thread because you thought I was assuming things about gods, and here you are actually making assumptions about a god.

What evidence do you have to support your claim that there would be laws/forces in place if god/s created the universe?

Really? or are you just trying to cram my position into your preconclusion?

No, I'm trying to tell you what the rest of the world means by "the god of the gaps." You are of course free to ascribe to it any other meaning you wish, but in the interests of clarity, I would ask you to define what you think it means.

How does the position that science explains how things work by "natural laws\forces" -- which were put in place by god/s at the formation of the universe -- use god to explain things we do not know?

It assumes that god/s put the laws in place.

In other words you make the logical fallacy conclusion that the absence of evidence is evidence for absence.

The fact that you don't understand the difference between evidence and proof does not mean that the difference is not there.

You might recall that earlier in this thread established a general definition of "evidence."

quote:
Fact X is evidence is support of hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y more probable than it would be without. The converse, obviously, would be that fact X is evidence against hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y less probable than it would be without. Evidence does not need to conclusively establish or invalidate a hypothesis by itself to be evidence in support of or against a hypothesis.

It seems clear to me that if one looks for some object or entity where one would expect it to be and fails to find it, that makes it more likely that the object or entity does not exist. As you point out, it's possible that further search could reveal the existence of the entity. That, of course, is precisely why I reserve the right to change my position if new evidence comes to light.

If you disagree that not finding something where it's expected to be makes it more likely that it doesn't exist, you need to explain why.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by RAZD, posted 03-07-2011 11:51 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by RAZD, posted 03-13-2011 1:18 PM subbie has responded

  
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