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Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

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Why the 'You cannot prove God does not exist' argument fails

Post by Bellatori on Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:56 am

The problem with discussions between theists and atheists is that eventually it comes down to the argument of not being able to prove a negative false. As a statistician, in my working life, I have often come across this as a problem. It really ends up as a lack of understanding of the concept of an hypothesis and the nature of the contrary position, the null hypothesis.
 
Consider the following example
 
Hypothesis 1 - There are fairies at the bottom of my garden. (My hypothesis or H1 for short)
 
In stating this I automatically generate a contrary (null) hypothesis which would be
 
Hypothesis 0 - There are no fairies at the bottom of my garden. (The null hypothesis or H0 for short)
 
The null hypothesis is entirely a consequence of stating the first hypothesis. If H1 is not true then we would automatically assume that H0 was true.
 
At this point (courtesy of the Cottingley Fairies and Arthur Conan Doyle) I produce a set of photographs. On scientific scrutiny these are held to be jolly fine photographs and completely fake. At this point I retreat into my bedroom to sulk and it is held that H1 fails on the basis of no evidence and therefore we accept the null hypothesis viz. there are no fairies at the bottom of my garden. Postulating that at some time in the future someone may come up with evidence that confirms H1 in no way changes the argument. We are dealing with NOW and as of NOW there is no evidence and the hypothesis fails. We accept H0. Wish fulfillment does not give you a reason to accept H1 in spite of the lack of evidence.
 
So now lets look at the existence of God argument.
 
H1 - God exists (the theist position)
which then automatically generates a contrary position
H0 - God does not exist (the atheist position)
 
In passing it is worth noting that the atheist position is a default one. It does NOT require belief. It is simply what is left when the H1 proposition fails, however this is for another time.
 
Now atheists would claim that there is no evidence for the existence of God and therefore H1 fails. (In passing one might wonder why, if there is evidence for god, that the religion that has that evidence has not therefore swallowed up all the others who clearly would be lacking in this respect. Is simply a multiplicity of religions an argument for the non-existence of God I wonder?)
 
At this point many theists go for the 'You cannot prove god does not exist' argument. This is the hypotheses above the other way around.
 
H1 - God does not exist (the atheist position)
and
H0 - God exists (the theist position)
 
The atheists just shrug and the theists jump up and down with glee saying the null hypothesis has it, God exists. The problem is that when you consider what the null hypothesis is, you have to ask one crucial question. Is the null hypothesis compatible with a stated position of no evidence.
 
Consider
H1 - Unicorns exist
and hence
H0 - Unicorn do not exist
 
Is a non-existent unicorn compatible with no evidence for the existence of unicorns? Yes it is. Now ask yourself the question if the hypotheses are reversed. Is an existing unicorn compatible with no evidence? No it isn't. Where are the hoof prints and the unicorn poop!!
 
So here we reach the crux. Is a null hypothesis of H0 - God exists compatible with no evidence for God existing. Clearly, as with the unicorn, the answer is no.
 
Atheists do not have to prove God does not exist. It is a meaningless quest because, without evidence, there is no reason or logic in believing that god does exist.

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by tlttf on Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:06 am

Excellent post Bellatori and difficult to argue with.

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Shirina on Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:15 am

Bellatori wrote:Atheists do not have to prove God does not exist. It is a meaningless quest because, without evidence, there is no reason or logic in believing that god does exist.
Indeed.

I often approach this argument from the angle of: If the null hypothesis can be proven true, then virtually nothing can be false - including paradoxes.

If I have to prove that something doesn't exist, then almost everything exists (because there is an infinite number of things that we can't prove doesn't exist, from imaginary friends to Santa Clause to Russell's teapot to the Cottingley Fairies).

Using the Cottingley Fairies, even if I were to prove that the fairies were really just cardboard cut-outs, that only proves the pictures are fake, NOT that the fairies don't exist. Thus arguments can ride the "uh huh," "nuh uh" merry-go-round all day long.

I can even use the null hypothesis against people: "Prove that you don't owe me $1,000. Oh, you can't? Then pay up, pal!"

Believers seem to think that the null hypothesis fallacy only applies when arguing about the existence of God - which is a fallacy within a fallacy (i.e. the Special Pleading fallacy). If the "you can't prove God doesn't exist, therefore he exists" argument works for God, it must also work for every other thing we cannot definitively prove doesn't exist, i.e. Cottingley Fairies, teapots orbiting Jupiter, and monsters under the bed." Apparently, Carl Sagan's invisible, floating dragon that breathes heatless fire must also exist.

The irony is that, using the same logic, one must also assume that every other god ever worshiped by any culture anywhere must also exist, which completely destroys the believed primacy of Christianity (or whichever religion is being championed).

Funny stuff.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Bellatori on Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:28 am

Shirina wrote: If the null hypothesis can be proven true, then virtually nothing can be false - including paradoxes.
Maybe I did not make the post as clear as I might. The null hypothesis is not something you 'prove'. It is merely the default position if the normal hypothesis fails for whatever reason. If you have something that you wish to prove then this is a normal hypothesis.

Shirina wrote:Using the Cottingley Fairies, even if I were to prove that the fairies were really just cardboard cut-outs, that only proves the pictures are fake, NOT that the fairies don't exist.
Again I would point out that the hypothesis that fairies exist nonetheless failed because of lack of evidence made worse by the fakery

Shirina wrote:I can even use the null hypothesis against people: "Prove that you don't owe me $1,000. Oh, you can't? Then pay up, pal!"
Again, no you cannot!! When you try that particular tack it fails because of what I wrote about unicorns. The null hypothesis, in this case "I owe you $1000" fails because the null hypothesis is not compatible with no evidence.

In essence if the null hypothesis is not compatible with no evidence then it cannot be a well defined null hypothesis which in turn means that your original hypothesis is compromised in some way.

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:07 pm

Bellatori wrote:The problem with discussions between theists and atheists is that eventually it comes down to the argument of not being able to prove a negative false. As a statistician, in my working life, I have often come across this as a problem. It really ends up as a lack of understanding of the concept of an hypothesis and the nature of the contrary position, the null hypothesis.
 
Consider the following example
 
Hypothesis 1 - There are fairies at the bottom of my garden. (My hypothesis or H1 for short)
 
In stating this I automatically generate a contrary (null) hypothesis which would be
 
Hypothesis 0 - There are no fairies at the bottom of my garden. (The null hypothesis or H0 for short)
 
The null hypothesis is entirely a consequence of stating the first hypothesis. If H1 is not true then we would automatically assume that H0 was true.
 
At this point (courtesy of the Cottingley Fairies and Arthur Conan Doyle) I produce a set of photographs. On scientific scrutiny these are held to be jolly fine photographs and completely fake. At this point I retreat into my bedroom to sulk and it is held that H1 fails on the basis of no evidence and therefore we accept the null hypothesis viz. there are no fairies at the bottom of my garden. Postulating that at some time in the future someone may come up with evidence that confirms H1 in no way changes the argument. We are dealing with NOW and as of NOW there is no evidence and the hypothesis fails. We accept H0. Wish fulfillment does not give you a reason to accept H1 in spite of the lack of evidence.
 
So now lets look at the existence of God argument.
 
H1 - God exists (the theist position)
which then automatically generates a contrary position
H0 - God does not exist (the atheist position)
 
In passing it is worth noting that the atheist position is a default one. It does NOT require belief. It is simply what is left when the H1 proposition fails, however this is for another time.
 
Now atheists would claim that there is no evidence for the existence of God and therefore H1 fails. (In passing one might wonder why, if there is evidence for god, that the religion that has that evidence has not therefore swallowed up all the others who clearly would be lacking in this respect. Is simply a multiplicity of religions an argument for the non-existence of God I wonder?)
 
At this point many theists go for the 'You cannot prove god does not exist' argument. This is the hypotheses above the other way around.
 
H1 - God does not exist (the atheist position)
and
H0 - God exists (the theist position)
 
The atheists just shrug and the theists jump up and down with glee saying the null hypothesis has it, God exists. The problem is that when you consider what the null hypothesis is, you have to ask one crucial question. Is the null hypothesis compatible with a stated position of no evidence.
 
Consider
H1 - Unicorns exist
and hence
H0 - Unicorn do not exist
 
Is a non-existent unicorn compatible with no evidence for the existence of unicorns? Yes it is. Now ask yourself the question if the hypotheses are reversed. Is an existing unicorn compatible with no evidence? No it isn't. Where are the hoof prints and the unicorn poop!!
 
So here we reach the crux. Is a null hypothesis of H0 - God exists compatible with no evidence for God existing. Clearly, as with the unicorn, the answer is no.
 
Atheists do not have to prove God does not exist. It is a meaningless quest because, without evidence, there is no reason or logic in believing that god does exist.
This generally leads to an ontological polemic form the more intelligent theists, a lowering of the bar for what defines evidence is also a common reaction, and of course for those theists who don't wish to, or are unable to, indulge in complex ontological arguments faith is then produced as if it's a trump card.

What I have noticed in the past is that as each argument is refuted they tend to revert to one or more of the others in a never ending circle. Perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic, but if someone wants to believe something in defiance of all logic and absence of any compelling empirical evidence there's little one can do or say to change their mind.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Bellatori on Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:59 pm

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:and of course for those theists who don't wish to, or are unable to, indulge in complex ontological arguments faith is then produced as if it's a trump card.
But then faith IS the trump card. I have never had a problem with people claiming faith. If that is what rocks you boat and keeps you sane then ... fine. It is when, having made the appeal to faith, you start to hear things like 'Yes, but look all around you. Can you not see gods handiwork?' that I start to have trouble. This is, in my opinion, actually slightly dishonest. Without specifically stating anything as a fact they are making an appeal to reason by the back door as it were. A bit of 'cake and eat it.'

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by stuart torr on Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:22 pm

Has you know Bellatori, the Theists have no wish to believe our arguments/debates against god even though we can prove with dates times etc. The one main reason why they have no wish to believe is that god/religion is their comfort blanket that they need, where we as atheists do not need such a thing do we.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:26 pm

Bellatori wrote:
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:and of course for those theists who don't wish to, or are unable to, indulge in complex ontological arguments faith is then produced as if it's a trump card.
But then faith IS the trump card. I have never had a problem with people claiming faith. If that is what rocks you boat and keeps you sane then ... fine. It is when, having made the appeal to faith, you start to hear things like 'Yes, but look all around you. Can you not see gods handiwork?' that I start to have trouble. This is, in my opinion, actually slightly dishonest. Without specifically stating anything as a fact they are making an appeal to reason by the back door as it were. A bit of 'cake and eat it.'
The problem is when that faith is seen as a divine right sanctioning their actions, making their claims more valid than people who don't share their beliefs. If we use reason, logic, and the unequivocal idea that all humans should have the same rights as a starting for our morals I'm fine with it, it's not a guarantee we'l do everything right, or even fairly, but if someone usurps these ideas with "god wants this, and it's not therefore open to discussion" then that I have a problem with. Women can't have an education - god wills it, gay men and women can't marry or even have a gay relationship - god wills it, etc etc...

Of course as you say I have more issue with people who claim evidence when there is none, than people who simply claim faith is everything.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:27 pm

stu wrote:Has you know Bellatori, the Theists have no wish to believe our arguments/debates against god even though we can prove with dates times etc. The one main reason why they have no wish to believe is that god/religion is their comfort blanket that they need,  where we as atheists do not need such a thing do we.

Hi Stu, glad you made it buddy. Will talk later as I'm off out now.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Shirina on Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:33 pm

Bellatori wrote:Maybe I did not make the post as clear as I might.
Hmm ... perhaps mine was not so clear, either.

Some do seem not to understand when I'm playing devil's advocate ... but not quite.

I've often found that some of the most effective arguments in religious debate is to argue from their point of view; to show them how absurd it is if you follow the "logic" to its (il)logical conclusion.

In the case of the null hypothesis, that was what I was doing with my previous post.

You and I know, for instance, that the example I gave about someone owing me $1000 is pure bunk, but that is precisely the kind of logic believers often use.

"Prove God doesn't exist and if you can't then he exists." It is exactly the same logic that would allow me to say that if you can't prove that you don't owe me $1000, it means you do owe me the money.

Bellatori wrote:The null hypothesis is not something you 'prove'.
Yes, I understand that. However, believers see it backward. One has to prove that something does not exist or else it does exist. That is why, by their logic, we must assume that virtually everything does exist or is possible. Plus, believing in an all-powerful God pretty much discounts impossibility because their God can do anything. To say something is impossible is claiming God can't do it. This only reinforces my original premise.

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Bellatori on Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Shirina wrote: Plus, believing in an all-powerful God pretty much discounts impossibility because their God can do anything.
Again that IS the point. They dig one hole and then retreat to another in this case omnipotence and omniscience and fall foul of the concept of 'free will' or Epicurus.

They can eschew logic but it only gets them in deeper Smile

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Bellatori on Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:14 am

The reason I started this thread is that there are two things I wanted to save from the Amazon thread. The first is the business about hypotheses and their validity and the second is the logical proof of the existence of God.

There are really only two people on whom I would put reliance for quality of argument and reason when dealing with a logical (by that I mean mathematical) proof of God. These two are Kurt Godel and Alvin Platinga.

I am not entirely certain that there was not an element of tongue in cheek to Godel's work (here) as he invented a whole new form of symbolic logic to demonstrate it. Platinga may not be the mathematician that Godel was but he has still produced some very interesting work in this field (seen here)

Both of these 'proofs appear to fail. Bertrand Russell commented that it was easier to believe Godel's proof was wrong than it was to demonstrate it. An interesting 'rebuttal' of Platinga can be found here. It is one of many and, as with Godel, they all point to the same issue which was first raised by Bertrand Russell. It is all in the premises (axioms).

Being a mathematician and pretentious as well I developed my own proof of non-existence of god in formal logic. It goes like this...

1. t: (t2. X <= U; ¬X <= U | U = (X & ¬X)
3. V <= X
4. E! g: (g <= ¬V)
5. P(g<=X) = {¬V & X}/{¬V}
6. {¬V} = {¬V & X} + {¬V & ¬X}
7. {¬X} = inf => {¬V} = inf
8. {¬V & X} < inf; {¬V} = inf => P(g<=X)= 0

1. t is any thing, real or imaginary, and every t is a member of the universal set
2. Things that eXist and things that don't eXist make up the Universal set
3. Things that are eVidenced exist.
4. There is a God who is not a member of the eVidenced set
5. The probability that God exists is equal to the number of uneVidenced things that exists DIVIDED BY the total number of things that do not exist.
6. The number of uneVidenced things is the sum of those that both exist and don't exist.
7. The number of things that don't exist is infinite and therefore so is the number of uneVidenced things.
8. So the probability of God existing is zero

As with Godel and Platinga, the whole stands and falls by its axioms. In this case it is line 4. Someone did try and argue that God was not a 'thing' but this is not really sensible. God is either SOMEthing or NOthing Smile 

This is why I have included this in this thread. Line 4 basically says 'Show me the evidence'. It reinforces the property of the initial post by showing that no evidence supports the null hypothesis. It also undermines the whole ontological argument because the logic is sound (as is that of Godel and Platinga) BUT it has the beauty of simplicity. There is only ONE arguable assumption.

So there you have it. If there is no evidence to support the proposition

H1 - God exists

then the probability that he exists is zero or to put it another way we support

H0 - God does not exist.

Please note this rules out agnosticism Very Happy

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:21 am

Please note this rules out agnosticism Very Happy wrote:Bellatori
Anyone in particular in mind? Wink He couldn't have followed us here, could he? Shocked 
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:24 am

The reason I started this thread is that there are two things I wanted to save from the Amazon thread. The first is the business about hypotheses and their validity and the second is the logical proof of the existence of God. wrote:Bellatori
Hi B,

As a layman with no knowledge in this field, could you tell me if the logical proofs produced for the existence f god set out to prove the possibility of a deity, or an individual theism? Or do they set out to prove the existence a deity and then simply use faith to leap to their version of their god?
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Bellatori on Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:26 am

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:
Please note this rules out agnosticism Very Happy wrote:Bellatori
Anyone in particular in mind? Wink He couldn't have followed us here, could he? Shocked 
Hi Doc... no not really:D  I was simply making the point that the probability for God is not a continuum but bi modal. Either he exists or he does not. If the evidence does not convince then the probability of God is zero which in my view rules out agnosticism. If you cannot say yes then you have to say no Exclamation

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by AW on Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:28 am

Bellatori wrote:Either he exists or he does not. If the evidence does not convince then the probability of God is zero which in my view rules out agnosticism. If you cannot say yes then you have to say no
Maybe.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Bellatori on Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:53 am

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:
The reason I started this thread is that there are two things I wanted to save from the Amazon thread. The first is the business about hypotheses and their validity and the second is the logical proof of the existence of God. wrote:Bellatori
Hi B,

As a layman with no knowledge in this field, could you tell me if the logical proofs produced for the existence f god set out to prove the possibility of a deity, or an individual theism? Or do they set out to prove the existence a deity and then simply use faith to leap to their version of their god?
Actually, Doc, I had not thought of it in those terms before Embarassed . When you look at Godel and Platinga, the premises seem to veer towards a God the Creator or God the beneficent as there is usually some premise about good. My argument against God is much simpler because, if you think about it in its most abstract the argument applies to anything (not necessarily a God) that you posit exists without any evidence. It is a very good question you raise Very Happy 

Clearly I just assumed... With that thought in mind I am going to go back and look at Platinga again... thank goodness it is Sunday Smile

[EDIT]
Platinga's first statement is

A being has maximal excellence in a given possible world W if and only if it is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good in W;

I took this as a statement based on the Christian god BUT that is not necessarily true. However you have made me look at that premise again in a new light. It raises the spectre of the problem of free will and the problem of evil. If you accept that premise and the rest of his argument then you have an omnipotent, omniscient and beneficent god. As I said... whence came evil and... out of the window goes free will. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy 


Last edited by Bellatori on Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : After thought...)

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Shirina on Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:04 pm

Bellatori wrote:If you cannot say yes then you have to say no
Hmm, this sounds an awful lot like the false dilemma fallacy.

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Bellatori on Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:29 pm

Shirina wrote:
Bellatori wrote:If you cannot say yes then you have to say no
Hmm, this sounds an awful lot like the false dilemma fallacy.

I can see why you might think that but in this case it actually applies. If you disagree with premise 4 then you believe that a God exists p(g<=X) = 1. If, on the other hand you agree with premise 4 then the logic leads to p(g<=X)=0. So God either exists or does not exist depending on your stance. The other alternatives that would allow one to be an agnostic require something that is not possible and that is that God belongs to both of two mutually exclusive sets. He cannot be both evidenced and not evidenced any more than he can be a thing that exists and a thing that does not exist.

The real argument is not over the logic but over the premise and the nature of evidence. God believers all claim that there is evidence even though producing that evidence usually defeats them but it is the argument they use in these circumstances.

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Heretic on Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:03 pm

Bellatori wrote:

1. t: (t2. X <= U; ¬X <= U | U = (X & ¬X)
3. V <= X
4. E! g: (g <= ¬V)
5. P(g<=X) = {¬V & X}/{¬V}
6. {¬V} = {¬V & X} + {¬V & ¬X}
7. {¬X} = inf => {¬V} = inf
8. {¬V & X} < inf; {¬V} = inf => P(g<=X)= 0

1. t is any thing, real or imaginary, and every t is a member of the universal set
2. Things that eXist and things that don't eXist make up the Universal set
3. Things that are eVidenced exist.
4. There is a God who is not a member of the eVidenced set
5. The probability that God exists is equal to the number of uneVidenced things that exists DIVIDED BY the total number of things that do not exist.
6. The number of uneVidenced things is the sum of those that both exist and don't exist.
7. The number of things that don't exist is infinite and therefore so is the number of uneVidenced things.
8. So the probability of God existing is zero
Grrr I really thought that my days of looking at this stuff was over which was why I gave my book on 'z' away to my brother. I will now need to borrow it back. Curses curses curses.

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Bellatori on Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:57 am

AW wrote:
Bellatori wrote:Either he exists or he does not. If the evidence does not convince then the probability of God is zero which in my view rules out agnosticism. If you cannot say yes then you have to say no
Maybe.
Not sure that maybe is allowable under these circumstances Very Happy but reminds me of a really bad joke

Heisenberg and Schrodinger are speeding in a car and get pulled over. Heisenberg is in the driver's seat, the officer asks "do you know how fast you were going?" Heisenberg replies, "No, but I know exactly where I am!" The officer looks at him confused and says "you were going 108 miles per hour!" Heisenberg throws his arms up and cries, "Great! Now I'm lost!" The officer, now more confused and frustrated orders the men outside of the car, and proceeds to inspect the vehicle. He opens the trunk and yells at the two men, "Hey! Did you guys know you have a dead cat back here?" Schrodinger angrily yells back, "We do now, asshole!"

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by William R on Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:27 am

Perhaps this is why we sometimes hear that the hypothesis (that a widely distributed being exists with the power to create universes, override relativity, wait 13.8 billion years and judge the resulting species on their church attendance etc) is in fact not a hypothesis at all. The justification given for this is that it is not testable, in other words because there is no evidence for it.

http://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/theology/god-hypothesis.php

However, the overwhelming majority of science-religion philosophers disagree with the premise that God is subject to scientific experimentation, or that a scientific examination of God is a worthwhile approach. As Catholic philosopher John Haught observes, "thinking of God as a hypothesis reduces the infinite divine mystery to a finite scientific cause, and to worship anything finite is idolatrous" [Haught 2008, pg. 43]. Similarly, British philosopher-theologian Keith Ward notes that "the question of God is certainly a factual one, but certainly not a scientific one." Instead, "[i]t lies at the very deep level of ultimate metaphysical options" [Ward2008, pg. 30]. Historian Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God, points out that only in the modern era have theologians (or anyone else) begun to treat God as a scientific explanation [Armstrong2009, pg. 304].
I have read all of the books mentioned and their arguments are unconvincing, but that's the kind of argument you get anyway.


Last edited by William R on Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:04 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Corrected "wait 13.8 years" to "wait 13.8 *billion* years". Oops.)
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by snowyflake on Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:50 pm

Hi Billy Bob Smile

That quote is a typical 'get-out' clause spawned by religionists who don't wish to examine their beliefs too closely. As science has proven to get to the bottom of questions, of course, the existence of God is as much a scientific question as the existence of atoms or anything else for that matter.

God is not a scientific explanation for anything. When scientists are stumped the religionists are very quick to slot God into the empty space until such time as the evidence shows that it isn't God and so they take him out and slot him in somewhere else. This musical chairs with a deity just shows how silly belief in him is. If he were true, none of that would be necessary.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Bellatori on Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:22 pm

They all tried hard, I will give them that BUT they all rely on the 'You cannot prove God does not exist' argument in the end. The problem is that you cannot prove God exists and therefore any discussion is always very defensive from a Theist point of view. Consequently when they claim to have debunked Dawkins et al they always return to that same point. Arguments through logic always fail for the same reason no matter how sophisticated. Somewhere in the premises there will be at least one that begs the question. My assertion #4 states God is un-evidenced. Theists would claim this is not true although there are some who would claim that it is true but that it is not important!! Personally I love the claims for miracles. This should be a clincher for God. JPII has now so I believe two miracles attributed to him. Miraculous healings. Wow...

PS The Haught review is truly excellent BTW. Very Happy 


Last edited by Bellatori on Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added a PS)

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by William R on Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:13 am

Bellatori wrote:They all tried hard, I will give them that BUT they all rely on the 'You cannot prove God does not exist' argument in the end.
Also they play the God is not the simplistic sky wizard you idiots think we believe in card, while Ward and particularly Haught blatantly believe in a sky wizard, and Armstrong thinks nobody except a few Jihadists and the Texas Board of Education actually think there is a sky wizard and that the rest of the faithful see God as a symbol for indescribable transcendence.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Heretic on Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:33 am

William R wrote:..... and that the rest of the faithful see God as a symbol for indescribable transcendence.
Timothy Leary had an experience like that.

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Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:53 am

I always find that knowing virtually nothing about quite a lot assists me in avoiding the confusion which might otherwise afflict me...

 Embarassed
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by polyglide on Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:59 am

I base my understanding of having actually kept and bred many types of animals.

If you take any animal you can breed towards many things, type, colour and in some instances behaviour etc;

This is done by selective breeding and using the dominant gene.

This is done not by nature but by man.

You can predict many things if you are aware of what is dominant and what is reccesive, however, the animal involved is not aware.

In natute the dominant will in 99% of cases come out on top.

For natural selection to work this would not be the case.

Any mutation or oddity that I have come across in breeding animals over 70 years, not one has survived and furthermore not one would have been capable of breeding even in the most unlikely of circumstances it would have come across a like mutation of the opposite sex.

Every animal I know adheres to the life it was designed for and is happy. seemingly, to do so and if left alone by man would continue to live the life it was intended for as long as it was intended.

Now this as far as I am concerned is a clear indication of why and how I have come to my conclsion.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by polyglide on Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:04 pm

All you have to do is enter, in favour of evolution, and you will have a list of all the scientists in favour and their reasons.
Then enter those against evolution and you will have a similar list of those against and their reasons.

There is no point in me giving the list when you can obtain them yourself, just do what I say and this will prove I can give you the lists if I wanted.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:16 pm

polyglide wrote:All you have to do is enter, in favour of evolution, and you will have a list of all the scientists in favour and their reasons.
Then enter those against evolution and you will have a similar list of those against and their reasons.

There is no point in me giving the list when you can obtain them yourself, just do what I say and this will prove I can give you the lists if I wanted.
You said you could supply the lists. Please go ahead. It would be nice if just once you could back up what you've claimed with something of substance.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by polyglide on Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:03 am

I have given you the means of obtaining them, there are far too many for me to list.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:45 am

That's an avoidance tactic that few wouldn't see through.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Heretic on Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:46 pm

Dan Fante wrote:That's an avoidance tactic that few wouldn't see through.

I agree.

PolyGlide can you provide the lists or not?

If you can then please do so.

If you can't then please explain why you said you could.

I await with anticipation.

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by snowyflake on Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:04 am

Dan, you're looking mighty fetching these days. :)


Last edited by snowyflake on Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I hate making spelling mistakes!)
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Dan Fante on Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:27 am

snowyflake wrote:Dan, you're looking might fetching these days. Smile
Thanks. Just getting into the festive spirit Wink
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Heretic on Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:32 am

Dan Fante wrote:
snowyflake wrote:Dan, you're looking might fetching these days. Smile
Thanks. Just getting into the festive spirit Wink

I take it that you're the one in red?

:->>

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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by Dan Fante on Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:35 am

Yes, as you can see I started at a young age with what has gone on to become a lifelong obsession.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by stuart torr on Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:25 am

Don't blame you Dan. Wink 
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

Post by polyglide on Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:09 pm

Irrespective of your lack of belief in God, I wish you all well
for over Christmas and continued good health in the New Year and any troubles you may encounter may God give you the strength to bear them.
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Re: Evidence for the existence of God (Part 3)

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