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Author Topic:   I Know That God Does Not Exist
Tangle
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Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 10 of 2138 (675401)
10-11-2012 4:10 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Thugpreacha
10-11-2012 1:36 AM


Re: Seeing Is Believing
Phat writes:

Of course, I dont expect a Deity to be visible to begin with....

I think you need to question this more. Why do we meekly accecpt that a Deity needs to be invisible? The answer is, of course obvious; because of the absence of a visible deity.

Qute isn't it?


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-11-2012 1:36 AM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 34 of 2138 (675459)
10-11-2012 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
10-10-2012 2:27 PM


But also, many religious believers claim to believe through personal revelation. They say that they have a personal relationship with their god and it's real, not imagined. They say that they just KNOW it to be true and that IS evidence.

I explain that as delusional and/or wishful thinking, but they claim that because they know it to be true, that is evidence enough.

I imagine that Jar's belief (above) falls into the "I just know" category.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Stile, posted 10-11-2012 2:40 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 79 of 2138 (675649)
10-14-2012 3:45 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by Thugpreacha
10-13-2012 2:53 PM


Re: Proof is in the Pudding
Suppose I suspect that there are snakes in my garden. There are a number of things I could do to prove it; I could lay traps, I could turn over stones, I could search for discarded skin, I could look for snake poo, I could call in an expert etc etc.

But suppose I decided to spend 10 minutes looking in one corner and didn't find anything, then announced that there are no snakes in my garden because I found no evidence of snakes, that would be an example of the fallacy.

But suppose I spent an entire year and used every known test for snakes - including stripping everything down to bare soil - but found none, the absense of evidence is then evidence of absense.

Mankind has spent thousands of years looking for this God thing and the only evidence he's found has been in his own mind. God is absent.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-13-2012 2:53 PM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-14-2012 7:08 AM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 83 of 2138 (675658)
10-14-2012 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by Thugpreacha
10-14-2012 7:08 AM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Phat writes:

But what if these snakes were invisible and nobody was certain whether or not they existed?

If these snakes are invisible and leave no evidence of themselves, it makes no difference whether they exist or not - for all practical purposes they don't exist. And given the total lack of any evidence, only the delusional would continue to believe in them.

Some of the searchers, however, claimed to have felt these snakes slithering on their arms.
a few of the claimants were delusional or prone to exaggeration, yet at least one of them was an otherwise respectable intelligent man.
These invisible snakes were said (by cultural mythos) to possess a venom that could cure many ailments. In fact, many people who were healed claimed that the snakes bit them as they were about to die. How do we separate fairy tales from folklore?

The only rational way to treat people who believe things that are clearly untrue - like invisible snakes biting them - is to try to help them realise their error. What we don't do is teach the efficacy of invisible snake venom to our medical students.

We know that people seem to want to believe all sorts of utter nonsense which can be proven to be false. For example dowsing - even when it's proven to them that they can't actually detect water, they still believe they can. It's something odd in the human psyche, but god it isn't.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-14-2012 7:08 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by ringo, posted 10-14-2012 4:10 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 85 of 2138 (675660)
10-14-2012 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by Thugpreacha
10-14-2012 7:08 AM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Phat writes:

What if thats the only way God decided to reveal Himself?(Herself,Itself, etc)

Well then he she or it has a problem because it has chosen to put itself in a really stupid place -in our imagination alongside dragons, unicorns and Bilbo Baggins.

Not only that, he's also chosen to be a different being in each head. To one he's Allah to another she's Yahwey, to some it's an ancestor and to others it's Neptune, Zeus or Rah. And he's missed me out entirely - what sort of a god would do that?


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-14-2012 7:08 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

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Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 88 of 2138 (675683)
10-14-2012 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by ringo
10-14-2012 4:10 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Ringo writes:

You're moving the goalposts. We're talking about "knowing" that God doesn't exist. Whether He exists "for practical purposes" is another question. If you can't find Him - and admittedly you've only looked in your own garden - that might mean that He doesn't matter but it has no bearing on whether or not He exists. As long as He could be "hiding", you can't legitimately claim that you "know" He doesn't exist.

Mine was a narrow point about absence of evidence not meaning evidence of absence. If I don't find snakes in my garden after doing everything humanly possible to find them, I can reasonably claim that as evidence of absence. It's an error to say absence of evidence is not indicative of a simple absence.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by ringo, posted 10-14-2012 4:10 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by ringo, posted 10-14-2012 5:00 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 90 of 2138 (675688)
10-14-2012 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by ringo
10-14-2012 5:00 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
ringo writes:

It's also an error to say that absence of evidence "is" evidence of absence. The proper approach is to say that absence of evidence can be evidence of absence. However, it is weak evidence at best, which is why the OP fails.

We're probably in violent agreement, but just in case. If you've taken every feasible effort to establish evidence of presence, if it's not found, then it IS evidence of absence.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by ringo, posted 10-14-2012 5:00 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by ringo, posted 10-14-2012 5:52 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 92 of 2138 (675692)
10-14-2012 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by ringo
10-14-2012 5:52 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
ringo writes:

I don't like it when they use it and I don't like it when you use it either.

You may not like it, but the dog bites both ankles.

My parameters were marked, the question was whether there where snakes in my garden, not the world or cosmos. Being unable to find snakes in my garden despite using all possible efforts, is evidence of absence - in my garden. That can not be in doubt.

So abiogenesis. Does the same logic work? I'd say it does. Science's inability to show how life might have started is absence of evidence that speaks to evidence of absence. But it's as limited as the snakes not being in my garden.

Does it apply to god? I think so but maybe it's stronger evidence - we have, after all, been looking everywhere we can think of for thousands of years. It's not proof but it IS evidence of absence.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by ringo, posted 10-14-2012 5:52 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by TrueCreation, posted 10-15-2012 3:59 AM Tangle has responded
 Message 118 by ringo, posted 10-16-2012 12:22 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 94 of 2138 (675707)
10-15-2012 4:29 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by TrueCreation
10-15-2012 3:59 AM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
TrueCreation writes:

In order for a hypothesis to be tested, scientific or not, you must demonstrate that an observation follows from that hypothesis being true. Confirmation of the hypothesis is then merely proportional to how confident you can be that your observation statements are true.

Hypothesis: There are no snakes in my garden.
Test: Strip the land bare to rock and look.
Outcome: No snakes found
Conclusion: There are no snakes in my garden

Hypothesis: There is no god
Test: Look for any evidence of the supernatural
Outcome: Haven't seen anything supernatural yet. Test continues.
Conclusion: Not yet proven, but it's looking more likely to be true than not. (ie the absence of evidence is building towards evidence of absence.)

And yes, you can quibble that we can't define 'god' like we can define 'snake' but I'm not particularly interested in semantic argument - most people understand what the term 'god' means in common usage and would expect to recognise one should it turn up.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by TrueCreation, posted 10-15-2012 3:59 AM TrueCreation has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by TrueCreation, posted 10-15-2012 5:42 AM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 96 of 2138 (675711)
10-15-2012 6:12 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by TrueCreation
10-15-2012 5:42 AM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
TrueCreation writes:

You're not taking seriously my suggestion that "no one can demonstrate that an observation necessarily follows from the hypothesis that god exists."

Your suggestion is being taken seriously, it's a very obvious qualification. However, I'm ignoring it because it's not relevant - I'm making a very narrow point about absence of evidence. For the moment, I'm not concerned about Gods that might exist beyond our powers to find evidence for them.

It is not a semantic quibble, it is a necessary condition to make the sorts of general statements the OP wants to make. In addition, you can't simply relegate to what "most people understand what the term 'god' means" unless that is just code for doing exactly what I just said will not lead you to the general claim that there is no god (ie, testing specific notions of god).

Most people, when talking about God, have a particular version in mind. The fact that there is no evidence for any of their versions is evidence for their absence.

That's as far as my little foray allows. The fact that you can define away a god so as to put it beyond the normal rules of evidence is interesting but irrelevant to my argument.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by TrueCreation, posted 10-15-2012 5:42 AM TrueCreation has responded

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 123 of 2138 (675846)
10-16-2012 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by Thugpreacha
10-16-2012 1:36 PM


Re: Equivocation on "knowing things"
Phat writes:

Is there a difference between saying "I know that God does not exist" and "we know that God does not exist?"

I think you're just getting tangled up in language.

If you substitute 'believe' and "I have proof" in the statements, you have a better understanding of what people generally mean when they say things like that:

So,
"I know that God does not exist"

becomes
"I believe that God does not exist" (My knowledge is personal to me)

or
"I have proof that God does not exist" (My knowledge can be shared with others and can be tested by them.)

Both are variants on knowing, but they are very different concepts.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-16-2012 1:36 PM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 191 of 2138 (676248)
10-21-2012 3:55 AM
Reply to: Message 189 by ringo
10-20-2012 2:35 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Ringo writes:

At one time, we didn't know elephants existed. They were only a product of our imaginings until we found them.

Those that had evidence of elephants knew they existed. Those that had no evidence didn't imagine them.

People imagine non-existent animals that have properties they dream of, horses with wings, dragons, sea monsters, unicorns (I don't know why.)

We know that man imagined gods to explain things that weren't explicable at the time. That's why there are so many disgarded gods.

It's fun to imagine super poweful things to 'explain' things we don't have answers to yet - but it's not rational.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 189 by ringo, posted 10-20-2012 2:35 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 192 by ringo, posted 10-21-2012 4:01 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 197 by herebedragons, posted 10-22-2012 10:54 AM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 193 of 2138 (676316)
10-21-2012 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 192 by ringo
10-21-2012 4:01 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Ringo writes:

Consider bacteria then. There was no evidence that they existed until somebody hypothesized that they existed and figured out where to look for the evidence.

I've no idea whether they hypothesised about a bacteria then went looking for them or not - it seems unlikely as bacteria were found a couple of hundred years before they put 2 and 2 together about desease. It's more likely it was like most other things we know - like the elephant - they just found it because they were curious.

But it's a strained analogy anyway.

The thing is, a god as described by the religious - in the Christian flavour for example, one that intervenes in our world, answering prayers and so - would leave evidence. We don't see any, so I take that as evidence of absence.

The other type of god - the one that is supposed to have created all this stuff we see around us but takes no interest in us and is holed up outside time and space, there is no evidence for either, but it's fair to say that not finding evidence for that kind of god is to be expected. So there not being any evidence describes nothing one way or the other.

We seem to want to make this far harder than it actually is.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 192 by ringo, posted 10-21-2012 4:01 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 194 by ringo, posted 10-21-2012 6:02 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 195 of 2138 (676321)
10-21-2012 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 194 by ringo
10-21-2012 6:02 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
ringo writes:

That's what I've been saying; you have to be curious. If you hope there aren't any snakes in your garden, you might succeed in not finding any.

There ARE snakes in my garden. Plenty of evidence. But I'm pretty sure that you understand the simple point I'm making, so I won't labour it any further.

As I said in another post, it's easy to define God out of existence - but if you do, you're not honestly producing "knowledge". You're just reinforcing ignorance.

All that we've heard so far is is an attempt to define a god INTO existence without evidence. Just because it's not possible to totally exclude the existence of a god does not magically make one exist.

But neither does it mean it doesn't - that's all, nothing more.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by ringo, posted 10-21-2012 6:02 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 200 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 2:04 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7022
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 198 of 2138 (676356)
10-22-2012 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 197 by herebedragons
10-22-2012 10:54 AM


Re: Imagination without experience?
herebedragons writes:

Don't you think this is a contradiction? How did the early humans imagine something they had no experience with? I see this as very advanced thinking on the part of the early humans.

Imaging things is what humans do - it's part of us and probably a side-effect of language. It's normal and global. Children do it from virtually the year zero. There's an article here which explains it better than I can in a few words:

http://www.mindpowernews.com/BrainGod.htm

Other animals don't appear to recognize the sun or moon as supernatural beings, but just as facts of nature. Their activities are regulated by them, but how do they imagine a supernatural existence of which they have no experience?

This hardly bears answering - animals don't have our brain.

Right. We construct reality based on our experiences. Yes, we imagine things that aren't there. Yes, our imaginations are powerful and can create powerful images that can frighten and control, but these images are based on our experiences; they don't materialize out of nothing.

We can imagine virtually anything. People that are creative in a normal state can imagine the most bizarre things; the mentally ill and the drug induced (Shaman) even more so. Our brain is capable of some astonishing thoughts. Imagining that there's a father in the Sky that created the earth and all that's in it is extremely trivial - it's simply an extension of ourselves.

Wouldn't it make more sense that early humans had experience with the supernatural.

No, it would just be an alternate explanation; but one that has no evidence to support it.

Obviously gods like Thor and Zeus are products of human imagination,

That's obvious to us now - but it certainly wasn't then. People made up a solution to the problem of thunderbolts that was wrong - that's all.

but the concept of the supernatural would seem to have its origins in human experience.

Well it does - but the experience is not of a god, it's of having a creative, curious brain imagining a plausable solution for a problem.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 197 by herebedragons, posted 10-22-2012 10:54 AM herebedragons has not yet responded

  
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