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  1. #181

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    RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Let's take a closer look at the reasoning that you're using here.

    You say that we have "zero evidence" that...what, exactly, vis-a-vis intelligence? That there exist non-human intelligent entities? That there exist entities not made of matter?
    By zero-evidence I should really use he technical term of turtles: additional claims (implied or otherwise) that are unsupported by evidence, likely anti-scientific, or otherwise possessing properties that are equally as unfounded as the original premise.

    In that light, the problem is that even the most simplistic description of God raises additional issues to address; and those claims usually end up with even more claims.

    Additionally, there's an issue of scope. The geological evidence regarding whatever kind of flood you're talking about is only relevant to theism specifically, rather than Christianity (or whatever religion), insofar as theism requires that the flood has occurred. And it's not clear that theism has such a requirement. So it's not clear that you're providing an argument against theism rather than an argument against Christianity (or whatever religion).
    I pick the flood as a common claim in nearly two thirds of believers but I could have picked any supernatural claim.

    But also, don't forget that there really isn't theism per se - there's only Christian theism vs Hindu theism. The bare term has no meaning in the real world.

    Scope-wise, it should be clear than I am discussing the shared reality that we all can agree exists: this planet, with humans, that have different religions worshipping their God or gods in different ways for different rewards post death.

    I'm disinterested in theoretical discussions or those debates that never touch reality: those are just never-ending turtles debates. Ultimately, they don't answer the original question, raise additional unsupported claims and frustrates everyone involved with minutia that is irrelevant. source: Reddit.


    Finally, I'm not a geologist (or hydrogeologist in particular), so I'm not staking out a strong claim in this area, but couldn't it be the case that a flood-like event could happen over some significant land area, but ensuing geological events made the flood difficult or even impossible to detect thousands of years later? Take for instance the example of someone writing a journal thousands of years ago. If the paper degrades completely in a few centuries, then we'd have no evidence of the journal-writing event even though it definitely occurred. [This of course doesn't automatically mean that it's reasonable to believe the journal-writing event occurred. You'd have to, say, rely on the prevailing evidential standards of historical geology or acquire expertise in the relevant fields of study and come to your own conclusion supported by that expertise.]
    If you want your head to hurt then look at creationist arguments and theories about how the flood could have happened. One theory posits a massive curtain of water to address the problem that there simply isn't that much water available for the flood described.

    But already you are reaching out for more things that need additional support; i.e. More turtles:

    T1: you appear to believe that the flood had to have happened thousands of years ago; implying, since you appear to assume the biblical timeline, that also the age of life on earth is also recent. If so, you'd have to support much more than the flood! This is a huge turtle so I'll leave it up to you to retract it.

    T2: paper wasn't invented at the time of the flood - I believed they used stone tablets of some sort. I'm not even sure if journaling was a thing back then.

    But let's not debate the truth value of the flood - I believe most modern Christians accept that it was mythical. I throw it out as something easily dismissed but also as an example of the kinds of claims being made by certain religions.




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  2. #182
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    By zero-evidence I should really use he technical term of turtles: additional claims (implied or otherwise) that are unsupported by evidence, likely anti-scientific, or otherwise possessing properties that are equally as unfounded as the original premise.

    In that light, the problem is that even the most simplistic description of God raises additional issues to address; and those claims usually end up with even more claims.
    Okay, can you go into detail here? The classical arguments for theism argue on the basis of things like change, movement, etc. They conclude that God exists, they don't merely posit the existence of God as one among the premises.

    I pick the flood as a common claim in nearly two thirds of believers but I could have picked any supernatural claim.

    But also, don't forget that there really isn't theism per se - there's only Christian theism vs Hindu theism. The bare term has no meaning in the real world.
    Philosophers have been discussing theism for millenia. If you're unfamiliar with the meaning of the terms you're using, or if you're deliberately supplying your terms with ambiguous meaning, then the proper recourse is not to claim that "theism has no meaning", but rather to educate yourself regarding the meaning of the term so as to remedy your misunderstanding.

    Scope-wise, it should be clear than I am discussing the shared reality that we all can agree exists: this planet, with humans, that have different religions worshipping their God or gods in different ways for different rewards post death.
    Right, but scope-wise you're also considering only those claims having to do with floods and the like, rather than theism construed generally.

    I'm disinterested in theoretical discussions or those debates that never touch reality: those are just never-ending turtles debates. Ultimately, they don't answer the original question, raise additional unsupported claims and frustrates everyone involved with minutia that is irrelevant. source: Reddit.
    The classical arguments for theism touch reality; they're not aiming to establish various properties of a fictional entity, but rather to establish convincingly that a particular kind of entity with particular properties exists.

    If you want your head to hurt then look at creationist arguments and theories about how the flood could have happened. One theory posits a massive curtain of water to address the problem that there simply isn't that much water available for the flood described.
    Okay, so it looks like you've found some bad arguments.

    But already you are reaching out for more things that need additional support; i.e. More turtles:

    T1: you appear to believe that the flood had to have happened thousands of years ago; implying, since you appear to assume the biblical timeline, that also the age of life on earth is also recent. If so, you'd have to support much more than the flood! This is a huge turtle so I'll leave it up to you to retract it.
    Uh, what? I can't retract claims I didn't make, and I never made any of those claims. And in any case, the literal reading of the Bible is a relatively recent phenomenon; classically the genesis account is not read as a literal 6-day event.

    T2: paper wasn't invented at the time of the flood - I believed they used stone tablets of some sort. I'm not even sure if journaling was a thing back then.
    I was using the journaling example to show that, in general, an event in the past can occur even if there's no present evidence to indicate that it did. It seems you've taken the example to be about...journaling during the flood? Or something? I'm not sure.

    But let's not debate the truth value of the flood - I believe most modern Christians accept that it was mythical. I throw it out as something easily dismissed but also as an example of the kinds of claims being made by certain religions.
    Sure. It might even be the case that every religion in the present day and throughout history has been false. That doesn't go very far in establishing that God doesn't exist, or that our universe is such that God couldn't exist (a stronger claim--British sphinxes don't exist, but our universe is such that they could exist (i.e., British people could build sphinxes).
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  3. #183

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    RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Okay, can you go into detail here? The classical arguments for theism argue on the basis of things like change, movement, etc. They conclude that God exists, they don't merely posit the existence of God as one among the premises.
    I know they conclude God but that conclusion requires additional the turtles of unknown consciousnesses existing in some realm outside our universe. It's all very well concluding there is a God but is that really a difficult thing to do: one could conclude that the existence of tasty cheese is inspired by and facilitated by the cheese God. Now what?

    I also tend to feel that these arguments assert a pre-believed God: it certainly doesn't convince everyone in the world. And they also ignore other, possible more probable explanations. So I hold no truck with these arguments.

    Remember: arguments like God is greater than anything that can be conceived sounds like outright nonsense to a nonbeliever - surely, as a previous atheist you know the kind of arguments there are? The rest are either circular arguments that already presuppose God or inject God as the only possible choice in some loaded way and to a tee all of them require turtles for additional explanation and support. That they remain convincing is only because theists want additional support for their world view which is largely based on faith.

    Philosophers have been discussing theism for millenia. If you're unfamiliar with the meaning of the terms you're using, or if you're deliberately supplying your terms with ambiguous meaning, then the proper recourse is not to claim that "theism has no meaning", but rather to educate yourself regarding the meaning of the term so as to remedy your misunderstanding.
    I'm not unfamiliar - I just want to argue reality and not another level of abstraction that supposedly applies to every religion by turtling away the specifics of actual religions for "reasons".

    A philosophical discussion is all well and good and a nice thing to do but the rubber has to hit the road and applied to an actual living breathing religion, populated with people and lives. Otherwise, you may as well discuss unicorns for all the good it does.


    Right, but scope-wise you're also considering only those claims having to do with floods and the like, rather than theism construed generally.
    No, but because my perspective is atheistic, I disbelieve all claims that do not accord with the reality we all share. Theists (t1) of that faith that believe in the flood so so because they have faith that their scriptures are accurate. Other theists (t2-tn) disbelieve for reasons relevant to their own religious framework. But an agnostic as to choose whether to believe t1 or t2-tn and atheists and come to a conclusion as to why the cumulated arguments against t1 is insufficient to determine truth.

    The classical arguments for theism touch reality; they're not aiming to establish various properties of a fictional entity, but rather to establish convincingly that a particular kind of entity with particular properties exists.
    Yes, as One poster suggested imagining a greater God than can be conceived! If that's not fiction on top of fiction, I don't know what is!

    And is this reality you claim to be touch is shared only by a theist of a specific religion or all religions? Is this reality also convincing for an atheist?

    Okay, so it looks like you've found some bad arguments.
    They're only bad if you lack faith. A property critical of not outright necessary to accepting the truth claims of a particular religion.


    Uh, what? I can't retract claims I didn't make, and I never made any of those claims. And in any case, the literal reading of the Bible is a relatively recent phenomenon; classically the genesis account is not read as a literal 6-day event.
    You said the flood happens thousands of years ago: the flood also claims that animal kinds were saved and have remained constant since then. So your claim does go against evolution and geology.

    If Genesis is not a literal 6-day event then what is it? It literally says days!

    I was using the journaling example to show that, in general, an event in the past can occur even if there's no present evidence to indicate that it did. It seems you've taken the example to be about...journaling during the flood? Or something? I'm not sure.
    I agree but something like the world flood would have left a mark. And I would have to imagine that other miracles have similar possible traces. Indeed, with all this praying going on for football games and rain and food and all manner of requests for supernatural interference, you'd think there were plenty of evidence. Right? So my demand for evidence is hardly unfair.


    Sure. It might even be the case that every religion in the present day and throughout history has been false. That doesn't go very far in establishing that God doesn't exist, or that our universe is such that God couldn't exist (a stronger claim--British sphinxes don't exist, but our universe is such that they could exist (i.e., British people could build sphinxes).
    Well, if every claim for X is fictional (not false - don't use that term) then how can X really exist? You can surely make up a deity such as one I made earlier that makes him an alien with super technology like the religion of Scientology. That could exist and it is compatible with the universe. Right?

    Also, God implies much more than the universe existing, there are claims of souls and the apparent fact that he is also some kind of ruler that can tell us what to do otherwise bad things will happen when we die.

    And if you want to imagine British sphinxes, if that's all you have to believe that God exists: that the possibility is sufficient, then the bar is set very low: you may as well believe in pixies and unicorns too while you're at it - your filter for credulity appears to be very weak!


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    Last edited by SadElephant; June 9th, 2016 at 02:23 PM.

  4. #184
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Not to be pedantic, but I did actually ask for all religions throughout time and history not just the top 10 that happen to be popular today.
    Your claim that the world's religions share a single God is unsupported and you should retract it. [/quote]

    I will re-state to clarify the consensus-- the top seven major world religions (based upon followers; Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, and Baha’ism) claim within their sacred scripture the existence of God and in Biddhism, the Sutras claim this ONE to be the undifferentiated, inscrutable Suchness. Sikhs sacred text call and claim God as Waheguru/Akal Purakh / Oankar. Hindus sacred text call and claim it as Brahama. Christians sacred text call and claim it as God, and Muslims sacred text call and claim it as Allah. Judaism sacred text call and claim it as Yod-Hei), Yahu or Yeho and Baha’ism sacred text claim God similarly as do Christians. The Sutras of Buddhism claim this ONE as “undifferentiated, inscrutable Suchness is the only Reality.”

    Hopefully that clarifies how the world’s seven major religions (based upon adherents) through their sacred text claim God’s/One Ultimate Reality existence.

    The problem with that it raises the question why then, not ALL the religions support the idea of one God.
    While the major world religions share in this One view, perhaps we’re moving in that direction not so much with the idea of organized religion but with the simple awareness of One God/Source who has different aspects.

    How does God "work through" man?
    Not sure how the energy works there, but perhaps in a similar fashion the way a light beam goes through a prism and shines outwardly. It would not be too difficult for something that is Absolute to work through something that is non-permanent.

    What does profound have to do with being true?
    I guess that would depend on what is being realized. If you want to know truth, consider how do you recognize and become aware of truth?

    All of them
    Don’t know what this means.
    Last edited by eye4magic; June 9th, 2016 at 02:29 PM.
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  5. #185

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I will re-state to clarify the consensus-- the top seven major world religions (based upon followers;
    Hopefully that clarifies how the world’s seven major religions (based upon adherents) through their sacred text claim God’s/One Ultimate Reality existence.
    That's well and good but that is not what I am discussing though. Not only is this a blatant appeal to popularity but it misses the fact, and I stated this in my previous objection, that I am talking about all the world's religions, past and present.

    You're addressing a different OP by limiting the scope of what religions we are talking about. Plus, if split up the ranking according to the different denominations and sects. I'm sure you'll come up with a different top 7.

    I won't even speculate why are arbitrarily choose 7 and not 8. Heck, why lot choose the top one to make your point.

    I continue to reject the claim of commonality as valid.


    While the major world religions share in this One view, perhaps we’re moving in that direction not so much with the idea of organized religion but with the simple awareness of One God/Source who has different aspects.
    Different aspects that actually did totally different things? Also, these different aspects also disbelieve each other? For example, Jesus is considered God only in the Christian religion. So I have to dispute that these are really different aspects.

    We are also supposed to believe in that the creation stories are also totally different too, right? And the the afterlife too, correct?

    These are not little differences you can turtle away - there's no hiding that these are vast differences, even in the few religions you chose to unfairly steer your case, that cannot point to a single entity. They cannot be reconciled because practically every important aspect of creation, the deity, his actions on earth, the after life, additional realms of post life existence, the soul, reincarnation vs a single chance of life, all very important claims made of the creator, they are so different that to say they are the same is false.

    If you believe it true then you need to explain why there are these differences; ideally without invoking more turtles or as others have been trying to do, take God to a minimal commonality so to be unrecognizable.

    I continue to reject your claim that there is a single entity under different aspects.

    Not sure how the energy works there, but perhaps in a similar fashion the way a light beam goes through a prism and shines outwardly. It would not be too difficult for something that is Absolute to work through something that is non-permanent.
    Why do you call it an energy and then a light? Which is it? A particle, a wave or the power to drive an action? Even with normal words, you appear to be mixing them up in ways that no longer comport with established understanding.

    I have to reject your new turtle and request that you withdraw your statement.

    I guess that would depend on what is being realized. If you want to know truth, consider how do you recognize and become aware of truth?
    By testing it. This far the truth of my OP has withstood the onslaught of hundreds of turtles to no avail! Even as they multiple with every round, they diminish themselves against the real truth: the one that all theists, agnostics and atheists agree upon: the simple fact that belief in God requires and relies on personal faith.

    Don’t know what this means.
    You asked what claims, I said all of them.


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  6. #186
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Since my last post is not responded to, I will respond to the OP anew:

    In short, the OP fails because it is based on the argument from ignorance fallacy (using lack of evidence for God to argue that God does not exist).

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    1. God doesn't exist until he is proven to.
    Of course that is engaging in the argument from ignorance fallacy.

    Not proving that God exists does not mean that God doesn't exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    2. I distrust all the knowledge of the ancients, our only source of information for any of these beliefs.
    3. I distrust all current claims of knowledge because they are either outright frauds/lies/mistakes/guesses or they are entirely unproven/repeatable/verifiable.
    4. Most claims appear to be leaning towards being spectacular rather than grounded in current knowledge.
    These points are rejecting claims that God does exist. And if we reject these claims, we can discount them as evidence for God existing. But then that is not evidence that God does not exist.

    The definition argument doesn't really make any difference. However one wants to define "God" in the OP, the OP still argues that lack of evidence of God's existence is evidence that God does not exist.

  7. #187

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Since my last post is not responded to, I will respond to the OP anew:

    In short, the OP fails because it is based on the argument from ignorance fallacy (using lack of evidence for God to argue that God does not exist).



    Of course that is engaging in the argument from ignorance fallacy.

    Not proving that God exists does not mean that God doesn't exist.





    These points are rejecting claims that God does exist. And if we reject these claims, we can discount them as evidence for God existing. But then that is not evidence that God does not exist.

    The definition argument doesn't really make any difference. However one wants to define "God" in the OP, the OP still argues that lack of evidence of God's existence is evidence that God does not exist.
    I think I have explained already that the first statement was meant as a conclusion (hence my wording of it being a tautology); the following statements are reasons why I believe it to be true.

    So I reject your argument from ignorance fallacy (again, mind) since it is not a fair reading.

    We should only debate this specific point until it is resolved either way. At no time do I rely on the lack of evidence for God - I rely on explicit mutual disbelief between religions (positive evidence) as well as the claims being anti scientific. That religious claims ALSO are unsupported or supported by turtles, is an observation to support the FACT that theists tend to make things up. And this last point is backed up by the FACT that theists here to a tee have invoked turtles to support the existence of their deity. Also, there is also the FACT, that many believers rely appeal to faith rather than evidence.

    This is unsurmountable evidence that points to Gods being human creations of fiction.


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  8. #188
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    We should only debate this specific point until it is resolved either way. At no time do I rely on the lack of evidence for God - I rely on explicit mutual disbelief between religions (positive evidence) as well as the claims being anti scientific.
    Support or retract that the mutual disbelief between religions is positive evidence that God does not exist.

    And while I will not argue that various claims from religions are not unscientific, the only relevant claim to the debate is their claim that God exists. So support or retract that the claim that God exists in unscientific.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    That religious claims ALSO are unsupported or supported by turtles, is an observation to support the FACT that theists tend to make things up.
    Saying SOME things are made up by someone is not support that ALL things are made up from someone. A person can speak both fictions and fact. I agree that the specific relevant claim, the claim that God exists, is without support. But lack of support for God existing is not evidence that God does not exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    And this last point is backed up by the FACT that theists here to a tee have invoked turtles to support the existence of their deity. Also, there is also the FACT, that many believers rely appeal to faith rather than evidence.
    Which likewise counts as lack of support for God's existence. But lack of support for God's existence is not support for God's nonexistence.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    This is unsurmountable evidence that points to Gods being human creations of fiction.
    No. Most of what you wrote equates lack of support for God's existence. What's left I challenge you to support or retract.
    Last edited by mican333; June 9th, 2016 at 07:17 PM.

  9. #189

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Support or retract that the mutual disbelief between religions is positive evidence that God does not exist.

    And while I will not argue that various claims from religions are unscientific, the only relevant claim to the debate is their claim that God exists. So support or retract that the claim that God exists in unscientific.



    Saying SOME things are made up by someone is not support that ALL things are made up from someone. A person can speak both fictions and fact. I agree that the specific relevant claim, the claim that God exists, is without support. But lack of support for God existing is not evidence that God does not exist.



    Which likewise counts as lack of support for God's existence. But lack of support for God's existence is not support for God's nonexistence.




    No. Most of what you wrote equates lack of support for God's existence. What's left I challenge you to support or retract.

    Wait, are we past that I was arguing from ignorance? You've dropped that line of attack, right?


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  10. #190
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I know they conclude God but that conclusion requires additional the turtles of unknown consciousnesses existing in some realm outside our universe. It's all very well concluding there is a God but is that really a difficult thing to do: one could conclude that the existence of tasty cheese is inspired by and facilitated by the cheese God. Now what?
    Again, you're acting as though all "conclusions" are equal. The conclusion of a sound argument is necessarily true. So it isn't enough to say, "Well, there's plenty of things that are the conclusions of silly arguments. So who cares that some argument concludes that God exists?" The point is that the arguments involved are valid (if their premises are true, then the conclusion necessarily follows) and have true premises.

    The proper response to such an argument is not to merely ignore it and say, "Well, I don't like that conclusion very much." Instead, you should inspect the premises and the inferences made in the argument to dispute either the argument's validity or the truth of its premises.

    I also tend to feel that these arguments assert a pre-believed God: it certainly doesn't convince everyone in the world. And they also ignore other, possible more probable explanations. So I hold no truck with these arguments.
    Again, you're giving a conclusion without an argument. If you're going to criticize one of the various arguments for theism, you need to explain precisely where the errors occur. Why should I believe that there are other, more probable explanations? What argument are you even talking about, here?

    Remember: arguments like God is greater than anything that can be conceived sounds like outright nonsense to a nonbeliever - surely, as a previous atheist you know the kind of arguments there are? The rest are either circular arguments that already presuppose God or inject God as the only possible choice in some loaded way and to a tee all of them require turtles for additional explanation and support. That they remain convincing is only because theists want additional support for their world view which is largely based on faith.
    Lots of things sound like nonsense when you first hear about them. Quantum superposition sounds like nonsense. That doesn't mean you should ignore quantum physics.

    And again, you're just flatly stating things without showing that they're true. You need to provide arguments. You're just

    I'm not unfamiliar - I just want to argue reality and not another level of abstraction that supposedly applies to every religion by turtling away the specifics of actual religions for "reasons".

    A philosophical discussion is all well and good and a nice thing to do but the rubber has to hit the road and applied to an actual living breathing religion, populated with people and lives. Otherwise, you may as well discuss unicorns for all the good it does.
    So you don't care about whether there are good reasons to think theism is true, you just want to be comfortable in your belief that theism is false. The unexamined life is not worth living, friend.
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  11. #191
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Wait, are we past that I was arguing from ignorance? You've dropped that line of attack, right?
    I'll point out that you are using the argument from ignorance fallacy if you use it. And the OP does use it ("God doesn't exist until he is proven to").

    But I'll set that aside and focus on your last argument and I'm not claiming that you used it there. But I am pointing out that a couple of your arguments boil down to pointing out that theist claims that God exists are not supported. That may be true but it's not evidence that God does not exist. Since you didn't directly claim that it is evidence that God does not exist, I won't say that you were using the argument from ignorance fallacy in your last post.

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Again, you're acting as though all "conclusions" are equal. The conclusion of a sound argument is necessarily true. So it isn't enough to say, "Well, there's plenty of things that are the conclusions of silly arguments. So who cares that some argument concludes that God exists?" The point is that the arguments involved are valid (if their premises are true, then the conclusion necessarily follows) and have true premises.
    But my argument isn't silly though - it's perfectly reasonable to expect a greater being whose focus is on making humanity better: who are you to judge an honest belief that cheese is the best way to do it? You can't because you lack a framework to attack someone's outlandish claims.

    I am suspicious of arguments for God from ALL the different religions, not just the ones that we see most - the Christian-turtle on top of the Judaism-turtle. So be honest, there's less reason to be believe in Christianity IMHO. Yet the way it is discussed and argued in the West is as if it is the primary God, even to atheists.

    What's interesting is that many theists here already reject organized religion. This is not a surprise because America is home to many hundreds of different denominations and individual churches, each with their own minor beliefs. It's practically a cottage industry here. Indeed I think the approach theists are taking here is to avoid supernatural claims at all - quite a weird turnaround but perhaps it is only for the sake of public debate (secretly theists obviously believe in all manner of supernatural things).

    Of course, my pointing out of turtles doesn't help matters but the lack of a clear rebuttal based on reality is a clear indication that there are no good arguments to be had.

    I have every reason under the Sun (anti-science, anthropology, psychology, sociology, mutual disbelief, turtles) to actively disbelieve and positively disagree and be suspicious of religious claims: it's no more or less than theists of one religion has on another religion's claims!

    The proper response to such an argument is not to merely ignore it and say, "Well, I don't like that conclusion very much." Instead, you should inspect the premises and the inferences made in the argument to dispute either the argument's validity or the truth of its premises.
    I did and I got more turtles - that avenue is a pointless one and provably worthless as evidenced by their lack of traction: to paraphrase anti-evolutionists, if there is a good argument for they Christian God, why are there still people of other religions?

    Besides, this debate is about examining the evidence that directly attacks all theist positions. Any arguments FOR a deity is largely irrelevant and a side distraction: 100% of ALL claims by theists not only ALWAYS brings in more turtles but they continue to do so after several rounds. It's a pointless exercise in mutual frustration.

    If there is an interesting argument for God then that belongs to another thread. I read through a few pages of one poster's suggestion to follow a Cosmological Argument and nearly every post brought totally new turtles into the mix. No thanks! I will rely on the fact of mutual disbelief and the existence of atheists and agnostics to demonstrate that there is no single religious argument that convinces
    non believers outside of their religion.

    Again, you're giving a conclusion without an argument. If you're going to criticize one of the various arguments for theism, you need to explain precisely where the errors occur. Why should I believe that there are other, more probable explanations? What argument are you even talking about, here?
    No I don't - it's not only boring but there are clearly no answers because theists can keep bringing more turtles into the debate. The only other explanations you should believe are those that can be supported by our known universe.

    This universe consists of a single world that contains the only intelligent being evolved over millions of years; this being is known to anthropomorphizetheir world and tend to wish for things to be true despite no evidence. They also invent their own world views either in politics or religion and defend both sometimes with their lives. Some take advantage of others that are weaker socially, economically or politically to indoctrinate them into beliefs such that it takes hold beginning at birth. These people form religions in order to organize society, provide a central moral framework to coordinate social changes and provide a birth-to-life rituals that some humans need.

    Those kinds of explanations and facts. No turtles, clear concepts that should be self-evidence and questions that arise will not invoke the supernatural or philosophical or metaphorical.

    Lots of things sound like nonsense when you first hear about them. Quantum superposition sounds like nonsense. That doesn't mean you should ignore quantum physics.
    Meh - religions have been around for thousands of years longer than quantum physics. Doesn't that tell you that there's a problem with a non-scientific world view that has no framework for truth discovery?

    And again, you're just flatly stating things without showing that they're true. You need to provide arguments. You're just
    I've provided plenty of arguments - they're in the OP.

    So you don't care about whether there are good reasons to think theism is true, you just want to be comfortable in your belief that theism is false. The unexamined life is not worth living, friend.
    As an atheist, I believe that this life is the only one I will ever have in the entire existence of this universe. If I were to involve myself in a fantasy, there has to be a pay off to justify the time and effort and money.

    I'm sure religion has an enormous payoff for those that believe in their respective religions. However, that is a different issue which is clearly not worth debating - it is self-evidently true.

    It's not that I don't care about whether there are good reasons to think theism is true - I truly believe there are no good reasons other than emotional ones. It could be that for some people they have life experiences that are made all the more bearable with faith in a god or those that have had life events that were an epiphany they want to feel again. Who knows?

    I'm not making any claims against as to why people make a personal decision to believe in one religion or another. I am arguing that they appear to do so for reasons incompatible with the known universe. If you think differently then by all means point out a good reason (without too many levels of turtles) as to why I am wrong.


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    ---------- Post added at 05:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I'll point out that you are using the argument from ignorance fallacy if you use it. And the OP does use it ("God doesn't exist until he is proven to").
    I have already explained that this is NOT a premise - it is a CONCLUSION, followed by premises that are supported. If you cannot accept that we cannot move on.

    I'll not leave any land mines behind because you have the tendency to use them. Either accept that my rationale is correct or argue the point. It is not worth continuing to argue for or against the OP unless we both agree what the OP means. It is certainly not worth arguing additional points.


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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    The claim you're describing is really a conclusion. I wrote it first because it was the most important point and I followed up with reasons why I believe it to be true.
    I'm sorry, but trying to alter it from a "claim" to a "conclusion" doesn't change the fact that your statement was rebutted - quite aptly - and instead of ceding the point, you tried to tap-dance around it, something for which you seem to have quite a penchant. Why, even in this last your response you did it again with the "conclusion not claim" dodge.
    Further, this stuff about justifying why that claim was first and that you followed up with your reasons to support it is also nonsense, since the statement is a stand-alone point in the OP, with its own dependent clause as part of the same sentence ("we know it's false because there's no proof"). Trying to now make it seem as though that first statement was just a conclusion with its supporting reasons coming afterwards is just ridiculous.
    I suggest rather than these weird interjections, amusing though they are in their pointlessness, poor delivery and ineffectiveness you contribute towards the argument on either side. Rehashing points that have long been abandoned by people who have left the discussion Isn't exactly helpful: perhaps having some ideas of your own instead of eating off people's leavings would provide for a slightly richer experience.
    I understand you may not like it, but around here people actually read what you write, and when someone starts debating as dishonestly as you have (I'm not the only one with this opinion), they get called on it.
    Also, please note that I have not rehashed any points - rehashing is when you reuse something without improving it. The reason I brought up KingDavid's point was not to reuse it, but to illustrate how you did in fact change your OP, after claiming in multiple posts that you didn't. Your criticism of my bringing up that example and calling it rehashing without actually addressing the larger point being made is just more tap-dancing. You really need to stop dodging rebuttals to your arguments.

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I have already explained that this is NOT a premise - it is a CONCLUSION, followed by premises that are supported. If you cannot accept that we cannot move on.
    And I assume the "supported" premises are in the post you recently made. And I responded to those premises. So if you want to move on, respond to my rebuttal of your arguments.

    Here is my response.

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post551837

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I'm sorry, but trying to alter it from a "claim" to a "conclusion" doesn't change the fact that your statement was rebutted - quite aptly - and instead of ceding the point, you tried to tap-dance around it, something for which you seem to have quite a penchant. Why, even in this last your response you did it again with the "conclusion not claim" dodge.



    Further, this stuff about justifying why that claim was first and that you followed up with your reasons to support it is also nonsense, since the statement is a stand-alone point in the OP, with its own dependent clause as part of the same sentence ("we know it's false because there's no proof"). Trying to now make it seem as though that first statement was just a conclusion with its supporting reasons coming afterwards is just ridiculous.
    I understand you may not like it, but around here people actually read what you write, and when someone starts debating as dishonestly as you have (I'm not the only one with this opinion), they get called on it.
    Also, please note that I have not rehashed any points - rehashing is when you reuse something without improving it. The reason I brought up KingDavid's point was not to reuse it, but to illustrate how you did in fact change your OP, after claiming in multiple posts that you didn't. Your criticism of my bringing up that example and calling it rehashing without actually addressing the larger point being made is just more tap-dancing. You really need to stop dodging rebuttals to your arguments.
    Meh, even if it were a dodge it doesn't change the current situation. This point was dealt with very quickly and was more of an organization of how I wrote the OP rather than my actual thinking.

    I could easily take the better reworking of my argument through my dialogue to Squatch and use that instead. It makes zero difference with what I'm saying and what I had been thinking all along.

    I understand how getting a gotcha win might be appealing to you but I am genuinely offering a point of view that has yet been dented very much. Perhaps you might join in a proper attack on what I'm saying rather than what you want me to be saying.

    Your sustained kibitzing has zero effect on my thoughts and arguments or responses to legitimate attacks at my claims. The only thing I would actually change is the assertion of turtles but otherwise, you're not going to get me to admit I was wrong in anything other than a poor ordering/wording of my case.



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    ---------- Post added at 05:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:24 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And I assume the "supported" premises are in the post you recently made. And I responded to those premises. So if you want to move on, respond to my rebuttal of your arguments.

    Here is my response.

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post551837
    OK. Just to be clear given FutureBoy's ineffective attempts to get a 'win' on the back of other debaters' hard work.

    1. You accept that my first statement regarding no evidence is a conclusion.
    2. The following statements are support for the conclusion.
    3. You withdraw that I am arguing from ignorance and that I have provided evidence for my position (even though you reserve the right to disagree whether they constitute good evidence)


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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    OK. Just to be clear given FutureBoy's ineffective attempts to get a 'win' on the back of other debaters' hard work.

    1. You accept that my first statement regarding no evidence is a conclusion.
    2. The following statements are support for the conclusion.
    3. You withdraw that I am arguing from ignorance and that I have provided evidence for my position (even though you reserve the right to disagree whether they constitute good evidence)
    If you want to say that the first statement is a conclusion instead of an argument, I'll take your word for it (although conclusions typically come after the support, not before it). And I'll also take your word for it that the points that follow are an attempt to support the conclusion but will not concede that they actually do support the premise. I don't argue that they are factually incorrect instead but that they do not logically lead to the conclusion that God does not exist. Again, they all boil down to the position that theistic claims that God does exist are not supported.

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If you want to say that the first statement is a conclusion instead of an argument, I'll take your word for it (although conclusions typically come after the support, not before it). And I'll also take your word for it that the points that follow are an attempt to support the conclusion but will not concede that they actually do support the premise. I don't argue that they are factually incorrect instead but that they do not logically lead to the conclusion that God does not exist. Again, they all boil down to the position that theistic claims that God does exist are not supported.
    Thank you. That is a fair assessment. I will respond to your previous post.


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    ---------- Post added at 06:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:43 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Support or retract that the mutual disbelief between religions is positive evidence that God does not exist.
    P1. It is positive evidence that here is no single framework to judge truth.
    P2. It is positive evidence that God is likely a human creation - this explains the cultural specifics as well as the anti-scientific claims.
    C: Therefore God is a human creation from soup to nuts in manner similar to how other human intellectual endeavors operate (P3) for example politics or patriotism. Especially patriotism now that I think about it - countries don't really exist either yet people defend these invisible borders as if they're real.


    And while I will not argue that various claims from religions are not unscientific, the only relevant claim to the debate is their claim that God exists. So support or retract that the claim that God exists in unscientific.
    God necessarily presupposes the following turtles in order for a him/it/them/her to exist (depending on your choice of religion):
    T1. The existence of a realm where he exists: I.e. Whatever is supposed to be outside of the observable universe. This is anti-scientific because we don't know whether there even is an outside and what the nature of this space would be even if it did.
    T2. The existence of another conscious intelligent being is also anti-scientific because there is no evidence of such a thing beyond humans.
    T3. The existence of souls is another anti-scientific turtle that proposes a continuous consciousness after we have died. T3 spawns even more turtles: T3.1. Where do souls go? T3.2. how does consciousness transfer T3.3. What does it transfer TO? T3.4. How does God know whether we deserve one afterlife vs another.

    That's just a start - we can carry on down to the specifics of every religion to find more

    Saying SOME things are made up by someone is not support that ALL things are made up from someone. A person can speak both fictions and fact. I agree that the specific relevant claim, the claim that God exists, is without support. But lack of support for God existing is not evidence that God does not exist.

    Which likewise counts as lack of support for God's existence. But lack of support for God's existence is not support for God's nonexistence.
    This is true but the fact that obvious fictions are supported by even more fictions then there is little reason to believe in anything the person says even though there is a chance that it may be true.

    The lack of support for God existing, I agree is not evidence he doesn't exist. It is support for the fact that he is a human creation and because he is a human creation, God doesn't exist. If every single claim about God is distrusted there isn't much of a God whose existence can even be posited.

    No. Most of what you wrote equates lack of support for God's existence. What's left I challenge you to support or retract.
    Let's focus on what we have first. I have demonstrated that your interpretation of my reasoning is wrong: that there are positive reasons to disbelieve theocratic claims both from other religions as well as from science. Without believable claims there are no claims onto which a real God could be defined with.

    In summary, God cannot exist based on the known universe of multiple mutually disbelieving religions, each with competing contradictory claims that sometimes also contradict known science.

    I don't know what's left but let's address whether I have supported the case that there is no God based on the what I have already stated.


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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    P1. It is positive evidence that here is no single framework to judge truth.
    If you mean the religions have no single framework to judge truth, I suppose that's true. But so what?

    Religions can be pure fiction and God can still exist. God is not dependent on religion to exist (to hold that God did not exist prior to religion is begging the question).

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    P2. It is positive evidence that God is likely a human creation - this explains the cultural specifics as well as the anti-scientific claims.
    And as I've said repeatedly, something can be imagined and also exist at the same time. So evidence of something being imagined is not evidence that it doesn't exist. You have conceded this point earlier.




    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    God necessarily presupposes the following turtles in order for a him/it/them/her to exist (depending on your choice of religion):
    T1. The existence of a realm where he exists: I.e. Whatever is supposed to be outside of the observable universe. This is anti-scientific because we don't know whether there even is an outside and what the nature of this space would be even if it did.
    I consider "anti-scientific" to be something that contradicts known science. Not knowing if these outside realms exist or not does not make it anti-scientific to say they do exist. Lack of evidence of these other realms existence is not support that they don't exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    T2. The existence of another conscious intelligent being is also anti-scientific because there is no evidence of such a thing beyond humans.
    Lack of evidence of its existence is not evidence that it does not exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    T3. The existence of souls is another anti-scientific turtle that proposes a continuous consciousness after we have died. T3 spawns even more turtles: T3.1. Where do souls go? T3.2. how does consciousness transfer T3.3. What does it transfer TO? T3.4. How does God know whether we deserve one afterlife vs another.
    Off-topic. The debate is whether God exists, not whether souls exist.

    And as I've said numerous times, questions are not rebuttals.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    This is true but the fact that obvious fictions are supported by even more fictions then there is little reason to believe in anything the person says even though there is a chance that it may be true.
    Lack of reason to believe something someone says does not mean that any particular thing one says is false.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    The lack of support for God existing, I agree is not evidence he doesn't exist. It is support for the fact that he is a human creation and because he is a human creation, God doesn't exist. If every single claim about God is distrusted there isn't much of a God whose existence can even be posited.
    As I've said, something can be imagined (a human creation) and also exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Let's focus on what we have first. I have demonstrated that your interpretation of my reasoning is wrong: that there are positive reasons to disbelieve theocratic claims both from other religions as well as from science. Without believable claims there are no claims onto which a real God could be defined with.
    First off, the only relevant theocratic claim in this debate is the claim that God exists. The veracity of all other theistic claims are not relevant. And in general, people have a conceptual handle on what God is and this is recorded in dictionaries. So God is defined and the definition is based on common theistic beliefs about God.

    And your goal is not to provide positive reasons to disbelieve theocratic claims but to provide support that God does not exist. You have not done this.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    In summary, God cannot exist based on the known universe of multiple mutually disbelieving religions, each with competing contradictory claims that sometimes also contradict known science.
    Contradictory claims amongst religions is not evidence that God does not exist. The contradictory claims amongst religions gives one reason to doubt their credibility and therefore hold that they fail to support their claims that God exists. But lack of support of God's existence is not support of God's non-existence.

    And the only relevant theistic claim to this debate is that God exists and you have not shown that the theistic claim that God exists contradicts known science.

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    But my argument isn't silly though - it's perfectly reasonable to expect a greater being whose focus is on making humanity better: who are you to judge an honest belief that cheese is the best way to do it? You can't because you lack a framework to attack someone's outlandish claims.
    You honestly think we can't evaluate whether cheese is a good way to help people? You can't think of any compelling argument against cheese being the best way to make humanity better? You can't think of any way to make humanity better that you could give strong reasons to think is better than...cheese?

    Do you not understand what reasoning is, or do you just reject it?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If you mean the religions have no single framework to judge truth, I suppose that's true. But so what?

    Religions can be pure fiction and God can still exist. God is not dependent on religion to exist (to hold that God did not exist prior to religion is begging the question).
    But if the idea of God is from a faulty source to begin with then you can't then say that such a being can also exist. It's like saying fairies exist because you read it some books of known fiction.

    If you can't rely on him or her or it, or them having created or not created the universe, and any other property then there is nothing for you to call God!


    And as I've said repeatedly, something can be imagined and also exist at the same time. So evidence of something being imagined is not evidence that it doesn't exist. You have conceded this point earlier.
    Yes but if EVERYTHING is imagined so there is nothing for you to say CAN exist!



    I consider "anti-scientific" to be something that contradicts known science. Not knowing if these outside realms exist or not does not make it anti-scientific to say they do exist. Lack of evidence of these other realms existence is not support that they don't exist.
    Of course it does, it presupposes that this realm also contains souls as well as God or gods! Also, the lack of evidence of these realms that we already know to be fiction emphasizes it is a human creation.


    Off-topic. The debate is whether God exists, not whether souls exist.
    Not if those religions also claim that God created souls. The point stands.

    Lack of reason to believe something someone says does not mean that any particular thing one says is false.
    It is an additional reason to disbelieve. If the weight of evidence points to a human creation, lack of scientific evidence and an unreliable source then the proper conclusion is to disbelieve the claims.

    As I've said, something can be imagined (a human creation) and also exist.
    Only if it is consistent with science; postulating turtles to support an unsupported claim is not science.

    First off, the only relevant theocratic claim in this debate is the claim that God exists. The veracity of all other theistic claims are not relevant. And in general, people have a conceptual handle on what God is and this is recorded in dictionaries. So God is defined and the definition is based on common theistic beliefs about God.

    And your goal is not to provide positive reasons to disbelieve theocratic claims but to provide support that God does not exist. You have not done this.
    I reject the distinction. I take God as believe and described by actual theists not some fictional dictionary definition. The theistic claims are extremely important because their cultural specificity points to a human source for all the ideas.

    Contradictory claims amongst religions is not evidence that God does not exist. The contradictory claims amongst religions gives one reason to doubt their credibility and therefore hold that they fail to support their claims that God exists. But lack of support of God's existence is not support of God's non-existence.
    No, it doesn't but it supports the idea that the God was created by humans. The evolution of the idea of God, something we have yet to discuss, and how the claims change as we understand the universe more demonstrates factors other than facts at work.

    And the only relevant theistic claim to this debate is that God exists and you have not shown that the theistic claim that God exists contradicts known science.
    That is just your unilateral restriction that I reject. My OP and all my discussions are about every God and every religion and every claim from every culture. This isn't your OP to restrict - it is mine to define and yours to rebut.



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    ---------- Post added at 07:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:00 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    You honestly think we can't evaluate whether cheese is a good way to help people? You can't think of any compelling argument against cheese being the best way to make humanity better? You can't think of any way to make humanity better that you could give strong reasons to think is better than...cheese?

    Do you not understand what reasoning is, or do you just reject it?
    It would be an exercise in mutual frustration but I know I can play the role of a cheese-theist and use all the same tricks and turtles to support the idea no matter what you say.


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