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  1. #61

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    In what sense is it fiction? Does someone who believes the Loch Ness monster not believe in dinosaurs? Does someone who believes in telepathy not believe in communication?
    In the sense that there is no believable foundation for it, or if the source is unreliable or if the claims make contradicts known science or doesn't pass common sense muster. I think there are plenty of reasons to agree that some ideas just don't make sense or are not plausible. I think that's what you're getting at when you're saying comic book powers.

  2. #62
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Finally, I get you want a robust debate about an intelligent creator but that's a totally different thread. For me, I want us all to examine the world's religions, most of whom we disbelieve, and draw some conclusions about whether this God thing can exist. Given that everyone approaches this problem by ADDING more fiction, new ideas and unsubstantiated claims and sentences that don't parse, everyone is missing the point!
    But God is defined as an intelligent creator who rules the universe (according to the dictionay). So if you are going to argue that God does not exist, then you have to show that an intelligent creator who rules the universe does not exist.

    If you refuse to do this, then you cannot show that God does not exist.

    As I said, I don't put much stock in the Christian God but that's not because of the characteristics of him being an intelligent creator. One reason I don't really accept that God is because he is described as male and I would think that God has no need for a particular gender so if there is a God (intelligent creator), that God is not male and therefore I don't think the Christian God exists.

    But I don't see any real reason to reject the notion that an intelligent creator exists. I also don't see any reason to accept that it exists. There is just no evidence either way so I'm neutral (agnostic) on that issue. And you have provided no evidence or reason for one to think that such a being does not exist. The fact that people invent a being like that does not mean that it doesn't exist anymore than me inventing a rabbit in my back yard means there is no rabbit in my back yard. Imagining something does not make it not exist. So I understand your argument. It just doesn't support the position that God (an intelligent creator) does not exist.
    Last edited by mican333; May 20th, 2016 at 12:04 PM.

  3. #63
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    In the sense that there is no believable foundation for it, or if the source is unreliable or if the claims make contradicts known science or doesn't pass common sense muster. I think there are plenty of reasons to agree that some ideas just don't make sense or are not plausible. I think that's what you're getting at when you're saying comic book powers.
    Yes, that's exactly what I'm getting at. SOME ideas don't make sense; those are the sorts of ideas associated with MAG.

    See, this is why I said I think you're being awfully loose with some terms, and why I say now that I think you're being reckless with some claims. It's very easy to rail against a silly claim; how much of a kick do you get out of arguing against the Easter Bunny? (Not much, I hope) If a person makes an unreasonable claim, clearly they didn't use reason to reach the conclusion in the first place. And if they didn't use reason in the first place, what makes you think you can reason them away from the position? That's a fool's errand.

    This is why I've encouraged you to think a little more deeply about some concepts associated with God. It's EASY to mock a ridiculous claim. But what about the ones that aren't so ridiculous? Those can be much, much harder.

    I didn't ask my question to you because I secretly have an easy answer; I don't. I asked because it's a hard thing to rigorously ponder. And, in this game, if you want people to take what you're saying seriously, it pays to BE serious and to take what THEY'RE saying seriously as well.

    Just my advice, based on doing this for the last 13 years.

  4. #64

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Yes, that's exactly what I'm getting at. SOME ideas don't make sense; those are the sorts of ideas associated with MAG.

    See, this is why I said I think you're being awfully loose with some terms, and why I say now that I think you're being reckless with some claims. It's very easy to rail against a silly claim; how much of a kick do you get out of arguing against the Easter Bunny? (Not much, I hope) If a person makes an unreasonable claim, clearly they didn't use reason to reach the conclusion in the first place. And if they didn't use reason in the first place, what makes you think you can reason them away from the position? That's a fool's errand.

    This is why I've encouraged you to think a little more deeply about some concepts associated with God. It's EASY to mock a ridiculous claim. But what about the ones that aren't so ridiculous? Those can be much, much harder.

    I didn't ask my question to you because I secretly have an easy answer; I don't. I asked because it's a hard thing to rigorously ponder. And, in this game, if you want people to take what you're saying seriously, it pays to BE serious and to take what THEY'RE saying seriously as well.

    Just my advice, based on doing this for the last 13 years.
    I agree but here's the rub, you have yet to explain what "the source of morality" means in a way that we can rationally discuss it and accept or reject it.

    I'm not just going for the low hanging fruit like half animal/human hybrid gods or some such. The weird genital fixation seems improbable and doesn't make sense in light of today's modern sensibilities - why would God be so backwards in his thinking if he were not just reflecting on his human creators' moral sensibilities? It's clear as day that this is a cultural rule rather than something terrible for all mankind in an objective moral sense; in fact on a practical level being gay means less people - that's a good thing right? So even from the moral angle, which you can't explain, you're still wrong.

    We have theists arguing that God is greater than what we can imagine and that God conveniently exists outside of this entire universe and therefore can't ever be detected by normal physical means; and this is the God that is simultaneously claimed to have created the universe and fully participated in our human history until recently; and prayed for constant physical interference by their believers. Doublethink much?

    There's a great deal that is beyond simple nonsense: there are contradictions and all manner of mental gymnastics, and obfuscations. We've seen nearly all of the tricks in this thread. So I don't think your accusation is a fair one: there are no deeper thoughts to be had that comports with our known universe.

    This is probably my longest ever thread against the most number of people in my entire life! I don't claim to be an expert but I have to say that an atheist pretending to be a theist isn't working: you can't say with a straight face that God is greater than what can be imagined - only a theist can seriously use it in a debate. And theists are making more stuff up and trying to obscure the fact that my argument is indeed sound.

  5. #65
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    The weird genital fixation seems improbable and doesn't make sense in light of today's modern sensibilities - why would God be so backwards in his thinking if he were not just reflecting on his human creators' moral sensibilities? It's clear as day that this is a cultural rule rather than something terrible for all mankind in an objective moral sense
    I agree. But that does not mean that the morality that these people invented is an accurate reflection of God's actual morality (if such a thing even exists).

    As far as I can tell, you are consistently forwarding the logical fallacy that if someone is wrong about something, that means that all of their beliefs are incorrect. One can be accurate in saying that an intelligence exists that is the source of morality and yet be mistaken on what that morality actually is. One can also arrive at the notion of this intelligence existing by completely false means (they made it up) and still say something that is true.

    Again, if I say there is a rabbit in my backyard without bothering to look in my backyard, you can claim that my belief in the rabbit is based on nothing other than my imagination and you would be correct, but that doesn't mean that there's not a rabbit in my back yard.

    So to set this to a logical rule (and I will bold it) - a conclusion derived by illogical means is not necessarily an incorrect conclusion.




    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    in fact on a practical level being gay means less people - that's a good thing right? So even from the moral angle, which you can't explain, you're still wrong.
    And some religious people think God wants us to treat gays with the same respect as straight people.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    We have theists arguing that God is greater than what we can imagine and that God conveniently exists outside of this entire universe and therefore can't ever be detected by normal physical means; and this is the God that is simultaneously claimed to have created the universe and fully participated in our human history until recently; and prayed for constant physical interference by their believers. Doublethink much?
    Which in no way shows that an intelligence that made the universe does not exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    There's a great deal that is beyond simple nonsense: there are contradictions and all manner of mental gymnastics, and obfuscations. We've seen nearly all of the tricks in this thread. So I don't think your accusation is a fair one: there are no deeper thoughts to be had that comports with our known universe.
    But the agnostic position regarding God does not demonstrate any of these things. Agnostics simply say "I don't know" which is the most logical position given the complete lack of evidence for the theist or atheist position.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    This is probably my longest ever thread against the most number of people in my entire life! I don't claim to be an expert but I have to say that an atheist pretending to be a theist isn't working: you can't say with a straight face that God is greater than what can be imagined - only a theist can seriously use it in a debate. And theists are making more stuff up and trying to obscure the fact that my argument is indeed sound.
    I have repeatedly showed the flaws in your argument. Apparently you are ignoring my responses. That's your prerogative but until you do respond to my rebuttals of your arguments, your arguments have been effectively rebutted and therefore the claim that they are sound does not hold water.

  6. #66
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Let me stop you right there. There's no such thing as "I agree BUT". Either you do agree, or you don't agree; it's that simple.

    Also, if you're seriously confused about what a person means in a philosophical discussion when they say "the source of morality", then you have A LOT of homework to do; that’s Philosophy 101. And, if you really want to learn more about morality, do you own homework. I've done mine. I did it a decade ago when I was railing against the same sort of nonsense you're railing against now, and by making the same mistakes you're making now.

    I've - we’ve - seen the same argument you're making now, and we've seen it made 100 times better, more thoroughly, and more eloquently. (go ahead and visit that link and see if there's a single thing you said in your OP that this poster didn't say better)

    We’re not playing rookie ball here, son. This isn’t our first rodeo. There are several long-time, experienced members here trying to engage your topic in a thought-provoking and interesting way, but we keep getting met with “you're still wrong”, “there are no deeper thoughts to be had”, “an atheist pretending to be a theist isn't working”. Etc.

    Take a second; process what’s being said here. You might find something interesting hidden there in the details.

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  8. #67

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Let me stop you right there. There's no such thing as "I agree BUT". Either you do agree, or you don't agree; it's that simple.

    Also, if you're seriously confused about what a person means in a philosophical discussion when they say "the source of morality", then you have A LOT of homework to do; that’s Philosophy 101. And, if you really want to learn more about morality, do you own homework. I've done mine. I did it a decade ago when I was railing against the same sort of nonsense you're railing against now, and by making the same mistakes you're making now.

    I've - we’ve - seen the same argument you're making now, and we've seen it made 100 times better, more thoroughly, and more eloquently. (go ahead and visit that link and see if there's a single thing you said in your OP that this poster didn't say better)

    We’re not playing rookie ball here, son. This isn’t our first rodeo. There are several long-time, experienced members here trying to engage your topic in a thought-provoking and interesting way, but we keep getting met with “you're still wrong”, “there are no deeper thoughts to be had”, “an atheist pretending to be a theist isn't working”. Etc.

    Take a second; process what’s being said here. You might find something interesting hidden there in the details.
    I agree I have much to learn. Thanks for the link, I can see that my argument is the first one listed and you are correct, it is better put. I may return with part two if there are some serious responses there that aren't even more imaginary things to dispute.
    Edit: it appears that there is little debate on the specific objection our two OPs making. I think it's a great write up but the OP is way to big to realistically discuss every detail. See how every theist goes on to discuss the imaginary things automatically.

    On "the source of morality", I understand basically what morality is, I am wondering what you mean by the source of it. The sentence doesn't parse to me for some reason. I can guess but I was hoping you'd explain it since you raised the issue; and the only one to raise the issue of morality thus far.

    Onto my manner, when I say you're still wrong, it is meant as a reminder that the original question is still unanswered; it's not meant as a goad. When I say that an atheist makes a poor theist, I mean it - you are not arguing from a sense of belief but an interpretation as to what a real theist would say and that's where things go awry. I've debated on Reddit with similar results - at some point the dialog stops because the deep seated belief is not there to sustain it. Regardless, I apologize if I have offended.

    I also agree I may be missing some subtle detail but I have yet to see it. I mean, I already know the answer - it's faith and a deep seated emotional connection that is simultaneously cultural and continuously maintained with daily rituals and social interactions. But I'm not arguing imaginary mental constructs or states of mind. I am arguing verifiable facts and looking at all human history.

    ---------- Post added at 01:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:23 PM ----------

    @mican: I'm not ignoring you - you have some great new points but I kinda want to go back to BBG. I'll try and get to it tonight.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #68
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    On "the source of morality", I understand basically what morality is, I am wondering what you mean by the source of it. The sentence doesn't parse to me for some reason. I can guess but I was hoping you'd explain it since you raised the issue; and the only one to raise the issue of morality thus far.
    Here's an example of the sort of thing I'm talking about. You're claiming that I raised the issue of morality, when actually you were the one who first brought it up when you said "At this point, I can commit to a definition: I will define God as an imaginary being with culturally varying qualities and powers that are consistent with the scientific imagination of the society that crafted him (or her or it!); and that this being is believed to truly exist and he/she/it provides a moral framework in which to live within."

    So it was in fact YOU who brought up morality, when you committed to a definition of God. Yet you lay the blame on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Onto my manner, when I say you're still wrong, it is meant as a reminder that the original question is still unanswered; it's not meant as a goad.
    Well, what exactly am I "wrong" about? What claim, exactly, did I make that I failed to support? In fact, where did I say YOU were wrong? About anything?

    See, this is the difference between a debate and a thoughtful dialog. When you're in "argue" mode, you find yourself so committed to your own thoughts and ideas that you interpret every response as opposition; something to be attacked.

    Another example: You say "you are not arguing from a sense of belief but an interpretation as to what a real theist would say".

    You don't have a CLUE what drives my comments. You don't know a godd@mn thing about me. Yet you assume I'm participating in some sort of nonsense role-playing scheme because you read something once on Reddit.

    I appreciate your apology; I accept it with gratitude. Now let's see if you mean it by showing it in your reply to THIS post. I'll be interested in whether or not you disagree with anything I've said here.

  10. #69
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I'm not ignoring you - you have some great new points but I kinda want to go back to BBG. I'll try and get to it tonight.
    I'm dropping the BBG. All it is is a definition of God. If you don't want to except that as a valid definition, then it really has no purpose in this debate. Therefore, the only definition I forward for God is the dictionary definition, which is the creator and ruler of the universe. I personally don't think God has to be the ruler in order to be God but I see no point in debating this if you insist that in order to be God, the being must also be the ruler. So again, I am dropping the BBG definition in favor of the dictionary definition.

    And to reiterate my primary point, you have not shown that there is no being that is the creator and ruler of the universe and therefore have not shown that there is no God. People using faulty reasoning to justify their own belief in God does not prove that God does not exist.

  11. #70

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Here's an example of the sort of thing I'm talking about. You're claiming that I raised the issue of morality, when actually you were the one who first brought it up when you said "At this point, I can commit to a definition: I will define God as an imaginary being with culturally varying qualities and powers that are consistent with the scientific imagination of the society that crafted him (or her or it!); and that this being is believed to truly exist and he/she/it provides a moral framework in which to live within."

    So it was in fact YOU who brought up morality, when you committed to a definition of God. Yet you lay the blame on me.
    Um, I meant that you were the one to make it part of the the counter definition. Either way, my bad - it's unimportant.

    Well, what exactly am I "wrong" about? What claim, exactly, did I make that I failed to support? In fact, where did I say YOU were wrong? About anything?
    Not sure - you're the one to bring it up. I thought you'd meant how I kept challenging you to define the source of morality.

    See, this is the difference between a debate and a thoughtful dialog. When you're in "argue" mode, you find yourself so committed to your own thoughts and ideas that you interpret every response as opposition; something to be attacked.
    True - I will try and not to be 'argue' mode per se but I do have some specific arguments in mind that I agree, I am very committed to. Hence the airing of them in this OP. I think I'm jumping ahead too much too so I'll stop that and take it slowly!

    Another example: You say "you are not arguing from a sense of belief but an interpretation as to what a real theist would say".

    You don't have a CLUE what drives my comments. You don't know a godd@mn thing about me. Yet you assume I'm participating in some sort of nonsense role-playing scheme because you read something once on Reddit.
    True too, and I think part of that specific accusation is participating in other threads with atheists who are pretending to be theists and then I spend time debating and then they reveal themselves as being atheists after all. So it's like two levels of wrongness: the wrongness of a theistic position and then the additional wrongness of the atheist pretending to be a theist and getting basic theistic ideas wrong too!

    I already know you're an atheist so there's no gotcha moment so I'll try and not jump the gun too much in predicting it.

    I appreciate your apology; I accept it with gratitude. Now let's see if you mean it by showing it in your reply to THIS post. I'll be interested in whether or not you disagree with anything I've said here.
    I don't disagree! Perception is reality in the real world and the digital: if you say I'm not behaving properly, I acknowledge it to be true and try and do better. And I appreciate the pointers.

    However, I do feel that the whole idea of coming up with some minimal God that would satisfy the God of all religions to be a bit fruitless and I do stand by my point that inventing more stuff to defend a fictional character is also fruitless. Can we continue now?

    ---------- Post added at 02:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:03 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I'm dropping the BBG.
    Phew, that's a relief. That was too long a post! Let's restart here then unless you want me to get back some of the other points you made earlier.

    All it is is a definition of God. If you don't want to except that as a valid definition, then it really has no purpose in this debate. Therefore, the only definition I forward for God is the dictionary definition, which is the creator and ruler of the universe. I personally don't think God has to be the ruler in order to be God but I see no point in debating this if you insist that in order to be God, the being must also be the ruler. So again, I am dropping the BBG definition in favor of the dictionary definition.

    And to reiterate my primary point, you have not shown that there is no being that is the creator and ruler of the universe and therefore have not shown that there is no God. People using faulty reasoning to justify their own belief in God does not prove that God does not exist.
    Firstly, I agree with some of your points:

    1. I have not shown that such a being could not exist.
    2. I agree that God could still exist despite people's poor description of him.

    However:

    1. My argument isn't one to logically prove God is an impossible being. My argument is that there are so many competing and contradictory beliefs AND that those beliefs are scientifically in line with the cultures of the time AND all the other weird and wonderful claims, that they are likely a product of human imagination. I don't personally need to reject your definition of God, no matter what you put down: it's already done so by people of other faiths for their own reasons - those specific reasons don't matter for my argument - the fact they exist is sufficient for me to claim that there is no answer to the question whose God is true. If none of them are true, I think that given the implausibility of the claims in the first place, I can conclude they are all false, or at least they are a product of human imagination as opposed to something real.

    2. We have already discounted other products of human imagination - miasma theory, the idea of bad air causing diseases, it was replaced with germ theory. We have discounted the idea of kinds of animals and replaced it with the genetics and evolution. We pretty much know that primitive tribes invent anthropomorphic beings and monsters and all manner of invisible things to explain their world, and this is in line with how gods are described (including yours). And all these claims are pretty much mutually exclusive between the different faiths, down to the very nature of the creator (one intelligence, multiple intelligences, no intelligences). So it's not quite that the people's descriptions are poor - they widely vary in a culturally and scientifically consistent manner that points to a human origin for God rather than an actual one.

    More specifically, to address your definition of God, and I am only doing so to point out how implausible the specifics are since I already reject your definition for the reasons above:

    1. Why one God vs many Gods? Building a universe is hard, it needs materials, scaffolding, plans, and all manner of things. So the number of creators is speculation.
    2. If God made the universe, then that presupposes that there is an 'outside' of the universe where he would exist. But we have no proof that there is an outside (or no outside). So where God exists is speculation.
    3. The idea of making the universe makes little narrative sense: the idea is just nonsensical and a product of primitive thinking - there is little reason to believe that any of our vast known universe is created by anything more than natural physical actions and reactions. There isn't much that can't be explained via non-intelligent processes: God and all the other stuff is unnecessary, especially considering all the other claims that come along with it.
    4. If God were indeed the ruler, then where exactly is he and where are his rules? And why has he not made himself known to use in an unambiguous manner? How could he leave such a big mess of contradictory ideas as to what we're supposed to be doing? So this 'ruler' then is not only absent physically but also legally: he has no presence to believe he even exists: I choose to say he doesn't until proven otherwise.
    5. Other than being an absent ruler, the idea of 'ruling' anything makes little narrative sense: the idea seems to be a product of humans psychology in wanting to be told what to do, given a simple life to obey, or having a reason to do crazy things (such as kill people). Having a leader is certainly useful in the animal kingdom and we have continued to use that evolutionary trick to do great things. However, if God is a ruler, then he is a poor one and to call him such is a contradiction in terms. So the dictionary definition is false for that reason alone.
    6. Finally, you are missing some critical components of my argument:
    a) you are inventing a God for the sake of argument, I am arguing from the point of reality and facts
    b) you haven't specified in your definition what the religion is, without believers then this God is nothing but a hollow shell with no substance, it should be rejected on that basis also
    c) creating the universe is the bare minimum, what about all the other miracles and human breeding and everything. This feels like a false God, it should be rejected.

    Anyway, you don't have to respond to any point in the section above; in fact please don't! The answers you give are just as irrelevant as my responses. It's just an intellectual exercise for me to show you how implausible the idea of God is; we can discuss each one for weeks on end and it will still be implausible - not IMPOSSIBLE, but implausible.
    Last edited by SadElephant; May 20th, 2016 at 04:34 PM.

  12. #71
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    1. My argument isn't one to logically prove God is an impossible being.
    But your argument is that God does not exist. So whatever argument you forward, if it doesn't result in something like "and therefore we can conclude that God does not exist", then your argument fails to show that God does not exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    My argument is that there are so many competing and contradictory beliefs AND that those beliefs are scientifically in line with the cultures of the time AND all the other weird and wonderful claims, that they are likely a product of human imagination.
    Right. Their beliefs about God are the product of human imagination. It does not shows that God itself is nothing but a product of human imagination.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I don't personally need to reject your definition of God, no matter what you put down: it's already done so by people of other faiths for their own reasons - those specific reasons don't matter for my argument - the fact they exist is sufficient for me to claim that there is no answer to the question whose God is true. If none of them are true, I think that given the implausibility of the claims in the first place, I can conclude they are all false, or at least they are a produce of human imagination as opposed to something real.
    You can reject these claims that God exists as being product of the human imagination. No problem.

    But this does not show that God does not exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    2. We have already discounted other products of human imagination - miasma theory, the idea of bad air causing diseases, it was replaced with germ theory. We have discounted the idea of kinds of animals and replaced it with the genetics and evolution. We pretty much know that primitive tribes invent anthropomorphic beings and monsters and all manner of invisible things to explain their world, and this is in line with how God's are described. And all these claims are pretty much mutually exclusive between the different faiths, down to the very nature of the creator (one intelligence, multiple intelligences, no intelligences). So it's not quite that the people's descriptions are poor - they widely vary in a culturally and scientifically consistent manner that points to a human origin for God rather than an actual one.
    I can accept that their conceptualization and belief in God comes from nothing but the human imagination.

    But that doesn't show that there is no intelligent creator of the universe. It just shows that their belief in the creator is not evidence-based. And of course that gives you ample justification to give their claims no credibility. But it does not prove that there is no creator.

    Again, let's use my rabbit analogy. Either there is a rabbit in my back yard or there is no rabbit in my back yard. If I use reasoning that is as flawed as the religious reasoning that you are referring to to hold that there is a rabbit in my back yard (like I wrote a fictional story about the rabbit and used my story to justify my claim that there really is a rabbit in my backyard), then you are justified in discounting my belief that there is a rabbit. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a rabbit in my backyard. My reasoning could be flawed but I could still be correct in my conclusion regardless. And it's the same thing here. These people could still be correct that there is an intelligent creator even though their reasoning on why the creator exists in completely illogical.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    More specifically, to address your definition of God, and I am only doing so to point out how implausible the specifics are since I already reject your definition for the reasons above:

    1. Why one God vs many Gods? Building a universe is hard, it needs materials, scaffolding, plans, and all manner of things. So the number of creators is speculation.
    Where I work, there are numerous people building things but there is only one boss who makes the general plan. So God having help does not mean that he isn't God.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    2. If God made the universe, then that presupposes that there is an 'outside' of the universe where he would exist. But we have no proof that there is an outside (or no outside). So where God exists is speculation.
    That just shows that if God exists, there are things that we don't know about God. It doest not show that there is no God.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    3. The idea of making the universe makes little narrative sense: the idea is just nonsensical and a product of primitive thinking - there is little reason to believe that any of our vast known universe is created by anything more than natural physical actions and reactions. There isn't much that can't be explained via non-intelligent processes: God and all the other stuff is unnecessary, especially considering all the other claims that come along with it.
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that we can explain how the universe was created via the non-intelligent process.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    4. If God were indeed the ruler, then where exactly is he and where are his rules? And why has he not made himself known to use in an unambiguous manner? How could he leave such a big mess of contradictory ideas as to what we're supposed to be doing? So this 'ruler' then is not only absent physically but also legally: he has no presence to believe he even exists: I choose to say he doesn't until proven otherwise.
    Then you are engaging in the argument from ignorance fallacy. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    And one can forward that God's morality is visible in our species. For example, there is a near-unanimous human agreement on certain moral issues - such as murder being immoral. That certainly is not proof that God has "built" us to agree with certain moral positions, but a case can be made that this is so. So of course a debate can be had over this and I don't think anyone can prove that either side is right. But the point is it's not an obvious fact that human moral beliefs are not influenced by an external intelligence.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    5. Other than being an absent ruler, the idea of 'ruling' anything makes little narrative sense: the idea seems to be a product of humans psychology in wanting to be told what to do, given a simple life to obey, or having a reason to do crazy things (such as kill people). Having a leader is certainly useful in the animal kingdom and we have continued to use that evolutionary trick to do great things. However, if God is a ruler, then he is a poor one and to call him such is a contradiction in terms. So the dictionary definition is false for that reason alone.
    I consider that statement to be entirely subjective on your part. A "ruler" is one who promotes order the universe is quite orderly. We have laws of physics that are consistently applied to. We have numerous life forms that, with little exception, seek to survive and reproduce. Perhaps these are the "rules" and on average we follow them very well - well enough for life to continue flourishing.

    But I should say that my responses to points 5 & 6 are highly philosophical and I would think that any continuing debate about them would not lead anywhere objective. It would be you think one thing and I think something else and nothing will ever be resolved. So I will just say that there are other ways of looking at things and you cannot possibly provide an objective factual defense of other of points 5 & 6.




    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    6. Finally, you are missing some critical components of my argument:
    a) you are inventing a God for the sake of argument, I am arguing from the point of reality and facts
    I have not. As I made clear, I was seeking to define God.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    b) you haven't specified in your definition what the religion is, without believers then this God is nothing but a hollow shell with no substance, it should be rejected on that basis also
    Clearly false. There are an endless number of things in the universe that no human is aware of - some we haven't discovered yet and some we probably never will discover. Therefore no one believes in these things (belief in something requires conceptualization of it) and yet these things exist. So the existence of things are not dependent on people believing in them.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    c) creating the universe is the bare minimum, what about all the other miracles and human breeding and everything. This feels like a false God, it should be rejected.
    The definition of God (creator and ruler of the universe) does not say anything about miracles. So if someone mentally invents a God that cures his/her cancer, then that God is a false God. But that doesn't mean that there isn't an intelligent creator that fits the dictionary definition of God.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Anyway, you don't have to respond to every point in the section above; in fact please don't! It's just an intellectual exercise for me to show you how implausible the idea of God is.
    you should have made that request at the beginning of your list and not the end. I went thought each point before I read this last part. But regardless, I have shown that every one of your points was either false or subjective.

    So I get that you THINK that God is implausible. But you have not factually shown that this is the case.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But your argument is that God does not exist. So whatever argument you forward, if it doesn't result in something like "and therefore we can conclude that God does not exist", then your argument fails to show that God does not exist.
    Yes, but it gets there through a different path. By inferring all that we know about God (through all the religions and other inventions, creations, speculations and fables) are faulty, we can conclude that there is no real God. Note that once we have discounted all known evidence for God, we're only left with more speculation or analogies or thought experiments or so-called logical 'reasoning'. So how can you possibly say that God exists when you have no evidence and all speculation! At best, you can only say based on your imagination, you believe God exists: that's usually known as faith.

    Right. Their beliefs about God are the product of human imagination. It does not shows that God itself is nothing but a product of human imagination.
    Of course it does. We know all ghosts and unicorns and dragons are products of human imagination, and they have failed to reveal themselves and they sound made up. Therefore, based on evidence, we can conclude they don't exist. It's why your earlier BBG barely had any claims - there wasn't a single one that was plausible enough to qualify. Same with the dictionary definition - it captures a minimal deity that seems to make sense but I think there'd be one that it wouldn't qualify for: the range of beliefs is just too much.

    But that doesn't show that there is no intelligent creator of the universe. It just shows that their belief in the creator is not evidence-based. And of course that gives you ample justification to give their claims no credibility. But it does not prove that there is no creator.
    Well, here's the point: if none of their conceptions are real AND that is all we know about God, then we therefore know NOTHING about God. There is nothing for you to say exists. You're just starting from scratch and trying to derive a plausible version of God, a creator and a ruler, but you lack even less evidence for such a being. Plus, we both know this is a construct for the sake of argument, so we already know he doesn't exist - you invented him in front of everyone!

    Again, let's use my rabbit analogy. Either there is a rabbit in my back yard or there is no rabbit in my back yard. If I use reasoning that is as flawed as the religious reasoning that you are referring to to hold that there is a rabbit in my back yard (like I wrote a fictional story about the rabbit and used my story to justify my claim that there really is a rabbit in my backyard), then you are justified in discounting my belief that there is a rabbit. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a rabbit in my backyard. My reasoning could be flawed but I could still be correct in my conclusion regardless. And it's the same thing here. These people could still be correct that there is an intelligent creator even though their reasoning on why the creator exists in completely illogical.
    I already pointed out the flaw in this analogy. You can't use rabbits because rabbits are plausible. You need to say that there is a pixie in your back yard. Are you seriously claiming pixies exist for the same reasons? Or we could say that the rabbit is transparent and invisible: is that also equally possible? No, it isn't because no such rabbit exists! Or God? Oh, all of a sudden, God's a possibility! That really doesn't make sense.

    --- snip ---
    you should have made that request at the beginning of your list and not the end. I went thought each point before I read this last part. But regardless, I have shown that every one of your points was either false or subjective.
    Sorry, I made some quick responses but the general theme is that your God is not a God at all but a poor replica of a real God. Also, on reflection, I ended up deleting my responses too rather than propagate speculating more about something neither of us have proof about.

    So I get that you THINK that God is implausible. But you have not factually shown that this is the case.
    I assure you, I factually believe that I think that God is implausible!
    Last edited by SadElephant; May 21st, 2016 at 04:57 AM.

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

    Beliefs are a reference to the psychological relationship between the claimant and the claim
    While true, you again conflate science and religion: in science, there is a general agreement as to the principles and practices to determine truth - it's why no-one pays attention of the 'science' of creationism or homeopathy. Religious believers on the other hand are still at a virtual impasse after centuries of killing each other, neither will give an inch as to the other religions' claim to truth.

    It seems that in several places in your argument you have argued that because there are multiple, competing ideas of how to define a concept that the concept itself is incoherent.
    Not quite - I am saying that there are multiple competing ideas as to the concept itself (the concept being the creation of the universe and life within it and how we should live)! In addition, there are also multiple, competing ideas as to how to define and explain the concept (whatever it may be). So there isn't just one level of disagreement, there are multiple within the same realm of the supernatural. It's a total free for all and still is, with people being able to create new religious truths all the time

    Not at all. Let's reframe the question again with probabilities you would hopefully find acceptable.
    Not quite, I would say:

    a) a box (unknown probability because we don't know which items are possible).
    b) a maximally great person (0% - the statement makes zero sense)
    c) pink unicorn (0% - there is no such thing)
    d) empty room (again, unknown but it would be derived from 1 - a )
    e) I don't know (which really should be impossible to know given the scenario)

    So the scenario is now failing on scoring incorrectly. Either way, it boils down to:

    a) possible things
    b) impossible things
    c) empty room
    e) I don't know.

    E only makes sense because how you've loaded the question. If we were told it wasn't an empty room then it becomes:

    a) box
    b) impossible things (God, pink unicorns)

    So for me, it would be a) since it is the only possible thing. For you, it would be

    a) box
    b) god
    c) unicorns

    So it is only for you, being a believer of the existence of God, would have to say I don't know. Because you've loaded the question to force me to say I don't know, you are being entirely unrealistic and disrespectful according to the real argument at hand: that there is a question as to whether god belongs in the impossible things category or is a realistic possibility.

    To put it more starkly, if the choices were

    a) an empty room
    b) God

    It is only you who wouldn't be able to tell the difference between an empty room and god! I think that one is probably the fairest representation of the analogy. I'd put it at 100% an empty room but you'd have to go with 50:50% chance.

    I'm pretty sure he wasn't arguing God is imaginary,
    First, I'm not trying to trap MindTrap but those were his words. Conceived means an idea created in the mind; whether we use the word 'imagined' or 'derived' or whatever, the point I meant was that it is completely a thought experiment. Imagination doesn't mean that there's no coherence of thought, it means that it is a wholly human creation.

    I chose the word to highlight that he doesn't believe God to be based on any kind of physical reality. At best his definition of God produces a hypothesis, at worst it's a delusion.

    It appears you are mistaken in the nature of the objections we are all putting towards you. We are not saying that you are wrong in this case because of its details. We are saying you are wrong in all possible cases because the logical format of your argument is invalid.
    That may be possible but at the same time, I feel that no-one is understanding my argument. Which of course is my own fault but when everyone is inventing new things to counter my primary objection is that God is invented, then I feel that I haven't been strong enough on that point.
    Your argument is untenable as it currently stands for two reasons.

    1) You have concluded there is no clear conception of God because there are multiple, competing conceptions of God. That is an unwarranted conclusion. There are multiple, competing ideas about where the moon came from (accretion vs impact event), it doesn't mean that both are wrong. Nor does the existence of what could be described as a "silly" idea (that it is made of cheese) mean that we have "no clear conception" of what the moon is or how it formed, it means we have three different arguments that we must weigh accordingly (one of which is likely to be relatively quick).
    Well, first of all I didn't say there wasn't a "clear conception". I think every religion has been very clear about the precise ideas as to what they believe in. The competing ideas are so culturally specific, and scientifically in keeping with knowledge of their origins, that the best conclusion is of human origin rather than the super clever being they believe God to be.

    I reject the idea that one religion may or may not be true because every religion rejects every other religion. That those ideas area also silly/implausible/impossible has little bearing on the matter. What matters is that the experts in religion believe only their own faith to be wholly true.

    2) Let's say that there was no clear concept of God. That , every single person had, at most a vague notion rather than a definition. That still doesn't mean that God doesn't exist. To refer to Dio's example, we had at best a vague notion of what a cell was when it was first discovered, but that doesn't mean that DNA and Bacteria didn't exist, only that their exact nature was unknown.
    Since I believe we have very clear conceptions of God, this point is wrong. The problem with Dio's example is that it doesn't comport to our argument at hand; he called it little bits, which could have ended up being DNA or bacteria. However, what is really happening is that theists are proposing tiny demons causing the disease. Or tiny pink elephants to have share the incredulity.

    Both of you share this idea that I am comparing likely things together whereas I find all religious claims wholly unbelievable, just like each religion finds the other religions unbelievable. I just believe in one religion less, to paraphrase. It may well be there is a God but until more evidence surfaces that persuades people to switch religions then I hold they are all equally false. They're certainly not equally possibly true!

    I dismiss it because it is made without any warranted support or evidence. The claim is either a bare assertion fallacy, or usually a separate fallacy based on whatever reasoning is put forward.

    What I think (and correct me if I'm wrong) is that you assign it to a category of claims called "religious" (the criteria for which appears to be the subjective take on "fantastical") and then dismiss it as such. That is a fallacious reason to dismiss an argument however because it is; a) subjective (since you can't provide an objective criteria for which claims fit this category and which don't) and b) a hasty generalization fallacy (because you simply assign it to a category of claims without reviewing the supporting argument).
    So what support or evidence is there for a deity or deities, the heaven/hell they exist in, that they even created the universe even if they did exist, that they interacted directly with humans and performed actions contrary to known science? Don't answer those questions: they're rhetorical, because it doesn't matter what additional imaginary things you're going to propose to answer the question.

    It's why my argument wholly depends on the existence of mutually exclusive religions, each whom equally disbelieve each others' claims and hold their own as the sole truth (or the best truth). The fact remains that there is no single religion that satisfies all and that provides positive evidence that no religion is persuasive no matter how strongly held or reasoned. That means that without further study, we can conclude no religion is true and therefore all claims should be taken as false unless further evidence points in one direction or another.

    In short, I'm not dismissing individual claims, I am accepting the mutual dismissal of claims from all religions against each other. Just as I depend on scientists to best judge the truth in competing scientific beliefs or withhold judgment as they see fit; I depend on religious leaders to best judge the truth value of their beliefs against others. Thus far, believers in one religion find flaws in the others that prevent them from accepting them.

    The point is that our intuition is, in fact, pretty terrible in all areas, but especially so in areas we don't have a lot of familiarity with, like the creation of the universe.
    This is a good point, but I would retort that God is also a natural and intuitive intellectual reflex: to believe there to be a conscious hand when there really isn't: Thor and his thunder come to mind, and God being the creator of the universe is similar.

    The point, rather than sophistry, is that because things feel or seem extraordinary is not a valid reason to automatically rule them out. You have to apply more rigor than emotional reaction.
    OK, then would you accept that Jesus did not in fact, actually die but was seriously wounded and close to death. And indeed faked dying so that he could be taken down and rescued by his followers, so that he could appear to a few witnesses before he finally really died of his wounds? Did Jesus really raise someone from the dead or was that person, too, not really dead? Is the Bible also mistaken about these two important deaths?

    If these were so obviously different categories to require their own sets of logical rules, you should be able to show pretty easily why they are different?
    It is very easy: scientists find ideas of QM plausible but don't have enough information to determine which. Religious leaders believe only in their own religion and dismiss the others as being wrong or misguided and certainly not as true as their own. The former is in a category where fundamentals can be questioned; the latter rarely if ever allow their fundamentals (the existence of their deity and all the other baggage).

    If you are simply defining God as a human creation and then declaring he doesn't exist, then you've committed a begging the question fallacy
    I haven't DEFINED God as a human creation! Far from it, I am using the available evidence at hand, i.e. all the other religions, to conclude that it the best explanation is that all Gods and their baggage (mythical creatures, supernatural dimensions of existence, miracles, etc.) are all human creations. Most don't even overlap with world changing events (e.g. the flood) so there's barely any connection to our known history.

    God being a human creation is a conclusion from the mutual disbelief of religions as well as the implausibility of the ideas viz-a-viz science and just plain common sense that religion is more about power and control and social cohesion. And finally, if God is a human creation then clearly, God doesn't really exist and didn't create the universe.

    You asked us to provide a definition of God that comports to the material universe, correct?
    I probably did but I shouldn't have. I personally have no interest in the individual logical arguments about God's actual existence. They're all flawed in some way shape or form and only applies to a single religion, coincidentally, the arguer's religion. It's a pointless exercise that convinces no-one but other believers. And to a non-believer, it introduces more unsubstantiated ideas that require further support: it's turtles all the way down.

    Your entire OP is predicated on there not being a definition
    If you think that's my OP then I may have to rewrite it! My OP is predicated on that there are too many definitions and mutual disbelief between religions, not that there isn't a definition!

    On a side note, this argument was also prompted by a comment you had earlier saying that there were no coherent arguments for the existence of God. When I offered you one, you rejected it as "irrelevant."
    Then I apologize for asking though I should additionally qualify that the coherent argument should also be accepted by other religions and it should also include all the other baggage (heaven/hell/angels/flying horses/whatever you guys believe in).


    Who cares if there is general agreement? There are still people advocating a flat earth or a geocentric model of the solar system. Those facts don't reflect on the argument that the earth is, in fact, round or that the earth orbits the sun right?
    Well, as a believer, I'm sure you'd like everyone to believe in your religion right? As a Christian, I believe, your obligation is to spread the word and convince other people your religion is the best way into the afterlife you believe also exists. So I think you do care, or should care.
    Last edited by SadElephant; May 20th, 2016 at 08:16 PM.

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

    Greetings, SadElephant.

    After skimming through this thread, I must admit I only see three possible explanations for what is going on here:
    1. You are a highly gifted wizard skeptic trained in the art of the reverse-psychology-Socratic method, where your theist victims are tricked into using rational & logical argumentation to refute your OP, only to later find themselves forced by their intellectual honesty to apply those same logical principles against their own irrational theistic beliefs.
    2. You are some sort of evil wizard theist who has expertly devised an elaborate plan to trick atheists into arguing the theistic position.
    3. You misunderstand some of the more important & basic principles of logic and logical fallacies.

    Although I’m hoping it’s 1 or even 2, since that one would be quite interesting, it seems like the 3rd option, for the most part.

    Jokes aside, I’d recommend you take the Occam’s Razor approach and note the strange & overwhelming consistency in the rebuttals to your OP which have been presented by members who have what are typically considered opposing views on the theism question.

    I do have to agree with the point you made regarding the confusion caused by the myriad definitions/explanations. However, this does not actually count as evidence proving there are no deities.
    The simplest way to put it is that even the most basic deity is ill-defined, and so theistic beliefs cannot be rationally justified. I think you’ll find it easier to leave it at that, avoiding the whole proving a negative thing altogether.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Greetings, SadElephant.
    I do have to agree with the point you made regarding the confusion caused by the myriad definitions/explanations. However, this does not actually count as evidence proving there are no deities.
    I'm not saying there is evidence directly PROVING there are no deities. My argument is that there is indirect evidence to conclude that there are no deities.

    I am saying there is evidence to disbelieve all existing deities. This evidence is from the experts in the field - other theists who disbelieve other religions. There may be some weird deity out there that no one currently knows about that exists, or a mad scientist alien, or a team of alien universe makers, or pink elephants. However, those are just speculation.

    So the only conclusion then is that there is no God either known nor made possible in our Known universe: there is literally nothing but human imagination and speculation! How can you then say there COULD be a God if every single thing you know about it is in doubt!? What evidence do you have to believe in the POSSIBILITY that isn't further justified by more imaginary things?

    Note also, and most people keep missing this point, this isn't one of those weird super logical debates where it must be proven to the last ounce of logic and this is demonstrated where you can see most people trying to squeeze in further imaginations and thought experiments. My argument is one that has to be based on what we KNOW, not what we could possibly know in some future state, or as some like to think, what we could never possibly know at all, ever. Sneaking God into hidden places, mostly using more speculation and invention, is how these debates go, which is why I phrased that we have to use the KNOWN UNIVERSE.

    The simplest way to put it is that even the most basic deity is ill-defined, and so theistic beliefs cannot be rationally justified. I think you’ll find it easier to leave it at that, avoiding the whole proving a negative thing altogether.
    The basic deity approach, the one being tried by a few people, is the worst! It is even more human creation on top of my complaint that there's human creations! Next to false analogies or arguments based on more speculation (my favorite being that God is greater than what can be imagined - new to me; or CA, which isn't but it ends up begging the question), these three general approaches haven't succeeded in defeating the OP.

    I also disagree that theistic beliefs cannot be rationally justified per se - they are rational within their own world view. It is when you take it all together with other religions, historical anthropological, studying how other animals behave, human psychology and the plenty of examples of how cults materialize, that you now have to realize it is all fiction, albeit rational fiction. I don't think people are irrational to believe in their CHOSEN faith: but they need to admit it is a personal choice and not a reality. We all get into trouble when theists try to impose their reality onto non-believers,right?

    Hope that clears this up. I have no doubt this has been hashed out elsewhere, including in one mega-OP that Diogenes pointed out. But I haven't seen an approach that removes speculation and invention. If theists concede that their belief in the existence of their God is based on wishful thinking, unproven speculation, hypothetical ideas with no evidence or as it is better known: faith, then we would not need to debate this. But they won't do so; it seems impossible to admit that emotional need, cultural pressure, child-hood indoctrination, social cohesion are the likely drivers for their beliefs rather than actual logic; their beliefs certainly are not based on evidence! Squatche's mega list of human fallibilities in rationalizations could easily be brought to bear against religionists. So there's no really much left to argue exists is there?

    Thus far, I have to say, I believe the OP to still stand; I'm not trying to prove a negative - I am looking at evidence that we ALL see - that of different religions and gods - and drawing a simple conclusion. No one has disagreed with a that conclusion yet effectively. It might have to be refined as RELIGION 2 at some point to make it clearer but I disagree with your general assessment, with respect.

    So, I think, it's choice 1!
    Last edited by SadElephant; May 21st, 2016 at 06:26 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Yes, but it gets there through a different path. By inferring all that we know about God (through all the religions and other inventions, creations, speculations and fables) are faulty, we can conclude that there is no real God.
    All we know about God is IF God exists, it is the creator and ruler of the universe.

    And faulty claims of God's existence is not evidence that God does not exist. To state otherwise is to engage in the argument from ignorance fallacy.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Of course it does. We know all ghosts and unicorns and dragons are products of human imagination, and they have failed to reveal themselves and they sound made up. Therefore, based on evidence, we can conclude they don't exist.
    But that's not based on people's faulty claims that they do exist. You are using entirely different criteria to hold that they don't exist so you have not rebutted my claim that faulty claims in the existence of something is not evidence that that something does not exist.




    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Well, here's the point: if none of their conceptions are real AND that is all we know about God, then we therefore know NOTHING about God.
    We do know something about God.

    1. Is the creator of the universe
    2. Is the ruler of the universe.

    The only definition of God that I give any credence to is the dictionary definition of God. I'm not saying it exists - I'm just saying that I have not seen any evidence that it doesn't (or does) exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    You're just starting from scratch and trying to derive a plausible version of God, a creator and a ruler, but you lack even less evidence for such a being. Plus, we both know this is a construct for the sake of argument, so we already know he doesn't exist - you invented him in front of everyone!
    I did not invent the dictionary definition God (we'll call it the DDG). I can guarantee you that I did not write the dictionary. Nor did the people who compiled the dictionary invent the DDG either. Definitions are defined by observing what words people use and how they define those words so it's based on observation, not invention.

    So I become aware of the concept of a being who made the universe. Since I'm aware of it and think about it, I form an opinion on whether this thing exists or not. I look at the evidence for and against DDG existing and determine that that the evidence is too inconclusive to know either way so I'm agnostic on the DDG existing.

    Likewise I did not invent the Biblical God but when I hear that it's male, I can use logic to determine that it's very unlikely that God, if it exists, would be male. So for that reason, and other descriptors of the the biblical God, I'm a soft atheist (which means I don't know for a fact that it doesn't exist but I don't think it does) about that God.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I already pointed out the flaw in this analogy. You can't use rabbits because rabbits are plausible. You need to say that there is a pixie in your back yard. Are you seriously claiming pixies exist for the same reasons? Or we could say that the rabbit is transparent and invisible: is that also equally possible? No, it isn't because no such rabbit exists!
    Your criticism is utterly irrelevant to my point. My point is that imagining something does not mean that it does exist. If the thing is too implausible to exist (like an invisible rabbit) then it doesn't exist because it's implausible, not because I imagined it. You are using completely different criteria to show that something does not exist than I was using to show that it might exist.

    So let me say it in bold (not for emphasis but to make a rule of logic that I will refer to when needed) - Imagining something does not mean that it does not exist.

    If you disagree with that rule of logic, then you must show that ANYTHING that I imagine, including the rabbit in my back yard, does not exist if I imagine it. Since I assume you will not be arguing that the rabbit does not exist, this particular rule of logic must be accepted.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Well, if God is just an engineer then why should he be prayed to!? It appears that the name "God" is just a label you give to any creator. The God you describe is hardly something worthy of the emotional investment that people make of him! Again, this is because you just invented this God - it is nothing like other Gods, the ones that people believe in, the ones that my OP is about. My OP is not about 'logically possible Gods' or other imaginary deities!
    Is your OP about the DDG? If so, then it doesn't matter how similar it is to the Gods of religion for its existence is not at all dependent on such similarities (such as being prayed to). And if you OP is not about the DDG, then your OP does not show that God does not exist for the DDG is definitely a God.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    It's all that we have available to us - there is nothing else that we can use since the only intelligence is our own. We have no evidence of any other intelligence. Of course, you can SPECULATE an intelligent creator but there is ZERO evidence of such a being. Therefore, our only choice is non-intelligent, whatever that may end up being.
    That is engaging in the argument from ignorance fallacy. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    But we have evidence of human origins so I'm not arguing from ignorance. I am arguing from plenty and all evidence.
    But you don't have evidence that an intelligence did not make the universe or that if it was made by an intelligence that intelligence is not the ruler of the universe.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    An external intelligence that you can't prove exists! Therefore, we have to go with evidence that we have that no such intelligence exists and that there are other ideas based on evidence such as psychology or anthropology.
    You have not provided any evidence that no such intelligence exists so we have no evidence to go with.

    And I'm unaware of anything in psychology or anthropology that shows that an intelligence did not create the universe. I believe those things can reveal why certain false claims that God exists might arise, but again, faulty claims that something exists is not evidence that it does not exist.

    In fact, I'm going to forward that as a bolded rule of logic - Faulty claims that something exists is not evidence that it does not exist.

    As an example, let's say that back when everyone thought the sun revolved around the Earth, there was a primitive tribe of sun worshippers who argued that because the sun is greater than the Earth, the Earth must revolve around the sun. Of course their claim is clearly based on illogical superstition and therefore is a faulty claim. But that doesn't change the fact that they were correct that the Earth revolves around the sun. And when anthropologists determine that superstition lead to their belief, they can't say that since their belief that the earth revolves around the sun is a faulty belief, it counts as evidence that the sun revolves around the Earth.

    In other words, one can arrive at accurate claims through faulty reasoning.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I really don't think that makes much sense - there's no reason to intuit an intelligence to keep physics running. You're again using God to explain things where he's not needed and without proving he even exists.
    But your response in no way shows that my response is incorrect. It shows that nothing that I said was provably false.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Agreed but in invoking God before we even know he exists, you're jumping the gun. Just because he created the universe, it doesn't mean that he is responsible for its physics: just as a clock maker made a clock, it doesn't mean that he is needed to keep it running by itself.
    I'm not arguing that God actually is responsible for the laws of physics. Heck, I'm not saying that God even exists (only that he might). I'm just saying that it's possible that God is responsible for the laws of physics. Or that it's possible that God is responsible for our moral dispositions (even if some occasionally act contrary to it). I'm just point out how God COULD BE the one who made laws and therefore is a ruler.

    Putting some kind of burden on my to prove that any of this is true is a false burden. My argument in no way requires me to show that any of this is true, only feasible. And basically anything is to be considered feasible until someone can show that it's not feasible.




    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Yet he is incomplete: he has no holy book, has not visited the earth, has made no communication, has no believers. What you have defined is a shallow joke of a God that matches nothing like any of the other Gods. It has to be rejected for not even being very godlike.
    Since the DDG fits the description of the God of practically every religion, they would not reject it. They would say that this being definitely exist and that beyond being an intelligent creator who rules the universe, it's also a male, has a holy book, and so on.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Wait, so this is supposed to be a God that hasn't revealed himself yet?
    Revelation is irrelevant to whether the DDG exists. The DDG has only two properties

    1. The creator of the universe
    2. The ruler of the universe

    If there was a third descriptor "has revealed itself" then whether God has revealed itself or not would have some bearing on whether it exists. But since it doesn't, it doesn't matter if the DDG has revealed itself.

    I'd suggest that you forget about religion for a second. My position is not based on any religion but just on what the dictionary describes as God. There are only two relevant questions, really.

    Question 1. Did an intelligence make the universe?

    If No, there is no God
    If Yes, see question 2

    Question 2. Assuming this creator exists, is it the ruler of the universe?

    If No, there is no God
    If Yes, there is God.

    And my answer to BOTH of those questions is "I don't know". If a theist says "yes" to either, I say "please provided evidence that your answer is correct" and they will, I assume, not be able to so I will not accept their answer and stick with my answer (I don't know). If an atheist say "No" to either, I say "please provide evidence that your answer is correct" and likewise I assume they won't be able to so I will not accept their answer and stick with "I don't know".

    So whatever a religious person might say is utterly irrelevant to my answer short of this religious person being able to back up a theistic claim with real evidence. Religious malarky on their part does not show that the atheist answer is right. If I'm faced with religious malarky, I consider it a non-answer and stick with "I don't know" for my answers which is the logical answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    As I said, I don't need to - this exercise is a pointless exercise because we both know you don't believe this God exists - it's pure speculation.
    First off, what I actually believe is entirely irrelevant to my arguments. I'm free to argue for any position I want - even positions that I personally reject. The only thing that needs to concern you is the quality of the argument itself, not the person who made it and what that person really thinks.

    My argument is that we don't know if the DDG exists or not. There is no valid evidence either way. Again, what I actually think is completely irrelevant to how well my argument stands up. If you don't want to take a contrary position to my position because it's all "pointless", then you should drop out of the debate.

    But of course you have taken a contrary position - that we can conclude that the DDG does not exist and if you are going to show that your position is correct, then you need to provide evidence and logic showing that it is so.
    Last edited by mican333; May 21st, 2016 at 07:36 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    All we know about God is IF God exists, it is the creator and ruler of the universe.
    If speculation is all you have and the grounds for your belief is a dictionary then that's hardly a strong argument to even begin to believe your God exists.

    And faulty claims of God's existence is not evidence that God does not exist. To state otherwise is to engage in the argument from ignorance fallacy.
    No, but it is warrant enough to dismiss them. It's not being 'ignorant' it is using the available evidence to dismiss the existence of this faulty God. Come back when you have a better definition is what I say to that.

    But that's not based on people's faulty claims that they do exist. You are using entirely different criteria to hold that they don't exist so you have not rebutted my claim that faulty claims in the existence of something is not evidence that that something does not exist.
    Right, it is their faulty claims that allows me to regard it as human fiction and unfounded speculation. Until there is warrant for me to pay further attention to those claims, and a dictionary definition is insufficient, then they might as well not exist. If there is no definition or description of God that exists then he clearly cannot exist!


    We do know something about God.

    1. Is the creator of the universe
    2. Is the ruler of the universe.

    The only definition of God that I give any credence to is the dictionary definition of God. I'm not saying it exists - I'm just saying that I have not seen any evidence that it doesn't (or does) exist.
    No we don't. That's my point - we only know what other people claim that God is: and we also know those claims are mutually disbelieved. So there is not a lack of evidence for God so much as a lack of a believable definition. There are definitions of God that have no creation or ruling requirement!

    I did not invent the dictionary definition God (we'll call it the DDG). I can guarantee you that I did not write the dictionary. Nor did the people who compiled the dictionary invent the DDG either. Definitions are defined by observing what words people use and how they define those words so it's based on observation, not invention.
    But your position is contradictory: if you accept that all evidence is inconclusive then you must also question the definition. Since the dictionary definition is drawn from information you already concede is faulty then you are merely picking and choosing which portions of the various religions you find plausible. Somehow, you independently find an intelligent creator plausible even though its foundations are shaky.


    Your criticism is utterly irrelevant to my point. My point is that imagining something does not mean that it does exist. If the thing is too implausible to exist (like an invisible rabbit) then it doesn't exist because it's implausible, not because I imagined it. You are using completely different criteria to show that something does not exist than I was using to show that it might exist.
    Yet you also find other religious claims to be inconclusive, why is the rabbit not also inconclusive - why is is implausible? I am using the very same criteria to judge the rabbit and God: you apparently are using different criteria to reject the invisible rabbit but hold off on fully rejecting God (even though you concede the information is faulty.

    So let me say it in bold (not for emphasis but to make a rule of logic that I will refer to when needed) - Imagining something does not mean that it does not exist.
    No, but it is reason enough to disbelieve it until other evidence comes to mind. Otherwise, you're in a position where you have to be agnostic about everything!


    If you disagree with that rule of logic, then you must show that ANYTHING that I imagine, including the rabbit in my back yard, does not exist if I imagine it. Since I assume you will not be arguing that the rabbit does not exist, this particular rule of logic must be accepted.
    Nope - it is the thing that you are imagining that is the problem. Rabbits have a chance of being in your back yard because I know they exist and do things like that. However, other kinds of things imagined can be disbelieved because they are implausible.

    Is your OP about the DDG? If so, then it doesn't matter how similar it is to the Gods of religion for its existence is not at all dependent on such similarities (such as being prayed to). And if you OP is not about the DDG, then your OP does not show that God does not exist for the DDG is definitely a God.
    My OP is actually about deities that exist as religions. DDG is just a thought experiment that no one believes in - it wouldn't change any theist's minds since it is so barebones as to be meaningless. I wouldn't even count it as a deity - it's an idea of what a deity is but it is so far removed from what one expects that I reject it for not even being a plausible deity.

    That is engaging in the argument from ignorance fallacy. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    No it isn't if there is no information about X then there is no reason to expect X to exist. X can't be described reliably, every mutually believes only in their own version of X and actively disbelieves everyone else's conception of X. So there is nothing there to believe or disbelieve. It's not absence of evidence, it's the absence of anything to have evidence about: there is no X.

    But you don't have evidence that an intelligence did not make the universe or that if it was made by an intelligence that intelligence is not the ruler of the universe.
    And neither do you. Also, you choose a single intelligence over multiple, and you choose intelligence of non-intelligence, and you choose a ruler over a non-ruler, an absent ruler over an active one. You are already choosing to believe in some claims over others - again without proof or warrant. Your imaginary God is selected from a bunch of other imaginary possibilities AND you're ignoring plausible possibilities that ARE compatible with the known universe. In doing so, you're stacking the deck with a lot of unfounded and unproven ideas. It has to be rejected in its entirety because there's likely turtles all the way down: you're going to keep inventing things to keep your definition solid.


    You have not provided any evidence that no such intelligence exists so we have no evidence to go with.
    It's not my claim to prove or disprove: it is yours and you've only provided a dictionary definition as 'evidence', which you know is culled from existing religions, whose information you already find faulty. So I have very good reason to reject everything you say about an intelligence. Plus, in order to have intelligence, it needs to exist outside of our universe: you have no proof that such a place even exists. So you evidence-less intelligence also requires an evidence-less home to live in! There's nothing solid about anything you are saying and therefore, it must be rejected in its entirety.

    And I'm unaware of anything in psychology or anthropology that shows that an intelligence did not create the universe. I believe those things can reveal why certain false claims that God exists might arise, but again, faulty claims that something exists is not evidence that it does not exist.
    The faulty claims aren't so much about something existing - they are faulty because their descriptions are faulty. If the descriptions/definitions are faulty then there is nothing to exist.

    In fact, I'm going to forward that as a bolded rule of logic - Faulty claims that something exists is not evidence that it does not exist.
    Agreed but I'm not saying that the claims of existence are faulty: the definitions of God are mutually faulty.

    As an example, let's say that back when everyone thought the sun revolved around the Earth, there was a primitive tribe of sun worshippers who argued that because the sun is greater than the Earth, the Earth must revolve around the sun. Of course their claim is clearly based on illogical superstition and therefore is a faulty claim. But that doesn't change the fact that they were correct that the Earth revolves around the sun. And when anthropologists determine that superstition lead to their belief, they can't say that since their belief that the earth revolves around the sun is a faulty belief, it counts as evidence that the sun revolves around the Earth.
    That's a great example of you missing the point: I'm not talking about faulty claims like that - we are talking about the kind of faulty claim which says that the Sun is actually God, that tells us what to do and requires human sacrifices.

    In other words, one can arrive at accurate claims through faulty reasoning.
    True, then what accurate claim are you saying has been arrived through all these faulty reasonings from all the religions? Intelligence - not all religions say that there is an intelligence: what warrants you to choose intelligence over non-intelligence when the ONLY intelligence you have evidence of is human? You're clearly putting intelligence up on a pedestal when most of the universe is running quite well without it.

    I'm not arguing that God actually is responsible for the laws of physics. Heck, I'm not saying that God even exists (only that he might). I'm just saying that it's possible that God is responsible for the laws of physics. Or that it's possible that God is responsible for our moral dispositions (even if some occasionally act contrary to it). I'm just point out how God COULD BE the one who made laws and therefore is a ruler.
    Sure, he could be. Anything could be anything! If you're arguing that tiny pink elephants actually run the universe then go ahead! You still don't defeat the OP with your made up ideas: it is made up ideas I am objecting against.

    Putting some kind of burden on my to prove that any of this is true is a false burden. My argument in no way requires me to show that any of this is true, only feasible. And basically anything is to be considered feasible until someone can show that it's not feasible.
    Well, I think I have shown the intelligence requirement is not feasible:
    1. the intelligence needs to exist outside of our universe, a realm which you have no proof of existing.
    2. The intelligence needs to have some sort of physical existence and materials and engineering in order to bring about the universe - these too are speculations that you have no proof of either.
    Your definition is on feasible if you ply on more things to speculate about.

    Since the DDG fits the description of the God of practically every religion, they would not reject it. They would say that this being definitely exist and that beyond being an intelligent creator who rules the universe, it's also a male, has a holy book, and so on.
    First of all not every religion makes the claims that there is a conscious God; secondly other religions claim there are many Gods. So I think there would be many people objecting to monotheism.

    Revelation is irrelevant to whether the DDG exists. The DDG has only two properties

    1. The creator of the universe
    2. The ruler of the universe

    If there was a third descriptor "has revealed itself" then whether God has revealed itself or not would have some bearing on whether it exists. But since it doesn't, it doesn't matter if the DDG has revealed itself.

    I'd suggest that you forget about religion for a second. My position is not based on any religion but just on what the dictionary describes as God. There are only two relevant questions, really.
    Your argument here has failed in its entirety since there are many religions that would reject your claim. Hindus with their multiple Gods, Buddhists with no Gods, atheists. Besides, taken to it's extreme, you could add any number of questions and you'd still answer I don't know; you could have a theory about polytheist creators and you'd still have to answer I don't know!

    Your position makes no sense since you would have to say you don't know anything. If you don't know anything and cannot determine what's plausible or not plausible then it is just a position of complete ignorance, in which case I have no reason to believe your reasoning and every reason to doubt your credibility.

    So whatever a religious person might say is utterly irrelevant to my answer short of this religious person being able to back up a theistic claim with real evidence. Religious malarky on their part does not show that the atheist answer is right. If I'm faced with religious malarky, I consider it a non-answer and stick with "I don't know" for my answers which is the logical answer.
    Your argument ENTIRELY DEPENDS on what religious people say! You have already filtered out so many ideas about God that this is clearly false! You have CHOSEN a monotheist God over other definitions so clearly you are paying attention to the details as to what religions say!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I'm not saying there is evidence directly PROVING there are no deities. My argument is that there is indirect evidence to conclude that there are no deities.
    I think these statements reveal quite a bit concerning the confusion in this thread.

    I'm going to rephrase your statements - without changing the context of either one - and take out a couple of words that don't really affect the context of the statements (I know you may think they do, but they don't - seriously):

    1. Your argument is not that there is evidence directly PROVING there are no deities.
    2. Your argument is that there is evidence to conclude that there are no deities.

    Pay close attention to the differences in these statements.

    #1 is a claim about reality. Essentially, you're admitting that there is no evidence that conclusively shows that there are NO deities.
    #2 is a statement of belief as it relates to reality. You tell us that, from your point of view, there is enough evidence to conclude that there are NO deities.

    Taken together, you're saying that you understand that there's no conclusive proof that there are no deities, but what evidence you've seen causes you to believe that there are no deities.

    If you consider the inverse form of this, you're exhibiting PRECISELY what the atheist would call religious faith concerning the non-existence of God(s). We've seen it a million times here, because it's a very easy mistake to make. It says nothing about your intellect, I should add. It only speaks to how you're engaging the subject intellectually.

    Consider:

    "I understand that there's no conclusive proof that there ARE deities, but what evidence I've seen causes me to believe that there ARE deities."

    Please give this portion some very careful thought, because a lot of people get very confused about the distinction between saying "I don't believe in God(s)" and "There are in fact no God(s)".

    As Mican rightly pointed out, he understands that you BELIEVE there are no deities (that's what you're saying in #2). And, as Mican also rightly pointed out, nothing you've presented conclusively shows that there are no God(s).

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  22. #79

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I think these statements reveal quite concerning the confusion in this thread.

    I'm going to rephrase your statements - without changing the context of either one - and take out a couple of words that don't really affect the context of the statements (I know you may think they do, but they don't - seriously):

    1. Your argument is not that there is evidence directly PROVING there are no deities.
    2. Your argument is that there is evidence to conclude that there are no deities.

    Pay close attention to the differences in these statements.

    #1 is a claim about reality. Essentially, you're admitting that there is no evidence that conclusively shows that there are NO deities.
    #2 is a statement of belief as it relates to reality. You tell us that, from your point of view, there is enough evidence to conclude that there are NO deities.

    Taken together, you're saying that you understand that there's no conclusive proof that there are no deities, but what evidence you've seen causes you to believe that there are no deities.

    If you consider the inverse form of this, you're exhibiting PRECISELY what the atheist would call religious faith concerning the non-existence of God(s). We've seen it a million times here.

    Consider:

    "I understand that there's no conclusive proof that there ARE deities, but what evidence I've seen causes me to believe that there ARE deities."

    Please give this portion some very careful thought, because a lot of people get very confused about the distinction between saying "I don't believe in God(s)" and "There are in fact no God(s)".

    As Mican rightly pointed out, he understands that you BELIEVE there are no deities (that's what you're saying in #2). And, as Mican also rightly pointed out, nothing you've presented conclusively shows that there are no God(s).
    Maybe it's just a matter of phrasing - it's a two part 'proof'; the first saying there is no definition for God and if there's no definition then you can't say he exists at all. Therefore, we have to invent a God that does fulfill some criteria, but that's even more speculation based on a faulty set of beliefs for inspiration. The former says there is no God, the latter rejects anything that attempts to be Godlike. What's left is nothing!

    I think that there's conclusive proof that God is a human creation - so via that argument, I'd say that God doesn't exist. Because there is no reliable description of what God really is and no proof at all as to any of the claims, and those claims are also counter what we know about the universe. Together with each religion's disbelief of each other, the only possible conclusion is that there cannot be any God.

    I readily agree that some other deity has a non-zero possibility of existing but the problem there is that you'd have to invent him and then invent more speculation in order to justify it. We see it in this thread with the many attempts to 'prove' a minimal God - it requires even more speculation as to the nature of the universe AND the nature of outside of universe (which we also have no evidence of). So there is zero reason to believe such an entity can possibly exist - there's just too many turtles. And if you're going to invent a new God, you have to justify where you get the properties from, and why this new God is better than the existing ones and how theism is better than a naturalistic atheist explanation (which doesn't need a consciousness never mind a self-anointed divine one!)

    There is no need to directly prove there is no God -- though I do make an attempt with Mican in my last reply -- that's just a fruitless exercise in mutual frustration IMHO; where there is will be speculation to unravel.

    (Also, to be clear, I think there is evidence to conclude directly there is no God but I'm not really forwarding that argument. My point about an indirect proof by saying X can't even be defined so how any anyone say X exists is a stronger one IMHO)

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    If speculation is all you have and the grounds for your belief is a dictionary then that's hardly a strong argument to even begin to believe your God exists.
    And since I'm not arguing that the DDG exists, that's not a problem.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    No, but it is warrant enough to dismiss them. It's not being 'ignorant' it is using the available evidence to dismiss the existence of this faulty God. Come back when you have a better definition is what I say to that.
    If you mean "dismiss" and in not think about it, that's fine.

    But to make the positive argument that DDG does not exist, you will need to show evidence that it does not exist. Just dismissing it without evidence that it doesn't exist does not count.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Right, it is their faulty claims that allows me to regard it as human fiction and unfounded speculation. Until there is warrant for me to pay further attention to those claims, and a dictionary definition is insufficient, then they might as well not exist. If there is no definition or description of God that exists then he clearly cannot exist!
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that the dictionary definition is insufficient.

    And please define an objective standard for when a definition is sufficient if you seek to support that it is insufficient.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    No we don't. That's my point - we only know what other people claim that God is: and we also know those claims are mutually disbelieved. So there is not a lack of evidence for God so much as a lack of a believable definition. There are definitions of God that have no creation or ruling requirement!
    We are speaking English which means that we accept the dictionary as a valid source of definition.

    So the definition of God IS "the creator and ruler of the universe." You can't just say "nope". I've supported that that is the definition.

    And if you want to argue that what is defined by the dictionary does not exist, then SUPPORT OR RETRACT that is does not exist. Just choosing to not accept the definition does not show that what is clearly defined does not exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    But your position is contradictory: if you accept that all evidence is inconclusive then you must also question the definition. Since the dictionary definition is drawn from information you already concede is faulty then you are merely picking and choosing which portions of the various religions you find plausible. Somehow, you independently find an intelligent creator plausible even though its foundations are shaky.
    I'm not picking and choosing. I'm accepting the definition based on a valid source of definition. Nor do I hold that every religious claim is faulty. If you want to say that a particular religious claim is faulty and I see no reason to disagree with you, then I will agree. But this is on a case-by-case basis. I do not hold to the axion that all religious claims are faulty.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Yet you also find other religious claims to be inconclusive, why is the rabbit not also inconclusive - why is is implausible? I am using the very same criteria to judge the rabbit and God: you apparently are using different criteria to reject the invisible rabbit but hold off on fully rejecting God (even though you concede the information is faulty.
    You are changing the topic. My argument is not whether something is implausible or not. It's about whether imagining something means that that something does not exist.

    Since you are no longer challenging that notion, it stands so I will repeat it in bold - Imagining something does not mean that it does not exist.

    As far as why invisible rabbits are implausible, that question is not an argument. If you want to argue that invisible rabbits are implausible and God is implausible for a similar reason, it is your burden to make the argument, not my burden to defeat it before it is supported. So you tell me - why are invisible rabbits implausible?



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    No, but it is reason enough to disbelieve it until other evidence comes to mind.
    No, it's not. If you are to guess whether there is a rabbit in my back yard or not, you would use whatever available evidence you have. For example, you could probably determine what are the odds of a rabbit being anyone's back yard at any particular time. And let's say that after collecting all of the data you can, your best estimation is that the odds are 2% that there is a rabbit in my back yard. And then I claim that there is a rabbit in my back yard but my claim is based on nothing but my imagination. So NOW what are the odds that there is a rabbit in my back yard? It's STILL 2%. My claim gave you absolutely no reason to adjust your evidence-based conclusion. So if my imagine-based claim actually gave you reason to disbelieve that there is a rabbit in my back yard, you have to adjust your estimate below 2% which would be entirely illogical.

    So let me restate this logical axiom - Someone imagining something existing has absolutely no effect on whether it exists or not and therefore provides no logical basis to conclude that it is less likely to exist than if one hadn't imagined it existing.








    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    My OP is actually about deities that exist as religions. DDG is just a thought experiment that no one believes in - it wouldn't change any theist's minds since it is so barebones as to be meaningless. I wouldn't even count it as a deity - it's an idea of what a deity is but it is so far removed from what one expects that I reject it for not even being a plausible deity.
    EVERY monotheistic religion believes in the DDG.

    Go ahead and ask a Christian "Does a creator and ruler of the universe exist?" I can practically guarantee you that that person will say "yes".

    And the DDG is not a thought experiment. It is the definition of a being that a majority of theists believe exists. In fact the definition arises from people's belief in it.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    No it isn't if there is no information about X then there is no reason to expect X to exist. X can't be described reliably, every mutually believes only in their own version of X and actively disbelieves everyone else's conception of X. So there is nothing there to believe or disbelieve. It's not absence of evidence, it's the absence of anything to have evidence about: there is no X.
    Actually, the existence in the DDG is the one thing practically every theist agrees upon. They might disagree on different details regarding DDG, but there is no disagreement amongst them that it exists and it is the creator and ruler of the universe.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    And neither do you. Also, you choose a single intelligence over multiple, and you choose intelligence of non-intelligence, and you choose a ruler over a non-ruler, an absent ruler over an active one. You are already choosing to believe in some claims over others - again without proof or warrant. Your imaginary God is selected from a bunch of other imaginary possibilities AND you're ignoring plausible possibilities that ARE compatible with the known universe. In doing so, you're stacking the deck with a lot of unfounded and unproven ideas. It has to be rejected in its entirety because there's likely turtles all the way down: you're going to keep inventing things to keep your definition solid.
    I'm inventing nothing at all. I'm looking at a dictionary definition and pondering if the thing described in the dictionary exists or not.

    I'm likewise seeing if there is any evidence that it does exist (there isn't) and if there any evidence that it doesn't exist (there isn't). Therefore I adopt the only evidence-based position regarding the existence of the DDG which is I don't know if it exists or not.

    And you have provided no evidence that it does not exist. Likewise I've never encountered a theist who has provided evidence that it does exist. So again, agnosticism is the only rational evidence-based position regarding the DDG.




    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    It's not my claim to prove or disprove: it is yours and you've only provided a dictionary definition as 'evidence', which you know is culled from existing religions, whose information you already find faulty. So I have very good reason to reject everything you say about an intelligence. Plus, in order to have intelligence, it needs to exist outside of our universe: you have no proof that such a place even exists. So you evidence-less intelligence also requires an evidence-less home to live in! There's nothing solid about anything you are saying and therefore, it must be rejected in its entirety.
    I only need to prove that such a thing exists when I claim that it exists. And I make no such claim.

    And you need to show evidence that such a thing does not exist when you claim that it doesn't exist. And you have provided no such evidence so your claim that it does not exist is baseless. Your arguments seem more based on the notion that you are justified in not even pondering such a thing's existence. And you are certainly free to dismiss the DDG without considering it. But then you cannot claim that you have provided any proof that it does not exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    The faulty claims aren't so much about something existing - they are faulty because their descriptions are faulty. If the descriptions/definitions are faulty then there is nothing to exist.
    And therefore one should ignore their claims.

    Ignored claims provide no evidence for either side.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Agreed but I'm not saying that the claims of existence are faulty: the definitions of God are mutually faulty.
    But the dictionary definition of God isn't faulty. It accurately relays what English-speaking people mean when they say "God" which is what a definition is suppose to do.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    That's a great example of you missing the point: I'm not talking about faulty claims like that - we are talking about the kind of faulty claim which says that the Sun is actually God, that tells us what to do and requires human sacrifices.
    Actually we are talking about whether the DDG exists or not.

    And faulty claims about the DDG does not show that the DDG does not exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    True, then what accurate claim are you saying has been arrived through all these faulty reasonings from all the religions?
    I'm not saying any accurate claims have been forwarded. I'm just saying that accurate claims can be forwarded. In other words, just because faulty reasoning determined that the Earth revolves around the sun does not mean that the claim that the earth revolves around the sun is an inaccurate statement.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Sure, he could be. Anything could be anything! If you're arguing that tiny pink elephants actually run the universe then go ahead! You still don't defeat the OP with your made up ideas: it is made up ideas I am objecting against.
    If you are seeking to show that the DDG does not exist, then you are wasting your time objecting to made up ideas.

    Again, me making up the notion of a rabbit in my back yard has no effect on whether or not there is a rabbit in my back yard.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Well, I think I have shown the intelligence requirement is not feasible:
    1. the intelligence needs to exist outside of our universe, a realm which you have no proof of existing.
    Which does not mean that it does not exist. Again, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    2. The intelligence needs to have some sort of physical existence and materials and engineering in order to bring about the universe - these too are speculations that you have no proof of either.
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence so you have not shown that such things don't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Your argument here has failed in its entirety since there are many religions that would reject your claim. Hindus with their multiple Gods, Buddhists with no Gods, atheists. Besides, taken to it's extreme, you could add any number of questions and you'd still answer I don't know; you could have a theory about polytheist creators and you'd still have to answer I don't know!
    And all of this ignores the argument on whether the DDG exists. You can say that there are other Gods than the DDG and that is true. But that has no bearing on whether the DDG exists. Maybe the DDG doesn't exist and a different God exist. Maybe no Gods exist. Regardless, the concept of the DDG is very clear assuming one understands the concept of a creator and ruler of the universe and I have clearly shown, and you have not rebutted, that the only logical answer to whether the DDG exists is "I don't know".

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Your position makes no sense since you would have to say you don't know anything. If you don't know anything and cannot determine what's plausible or not plausible then it is just a position of complete ignorance, in which case I have no reason to believe your reasoning and every reason to doubt your credibility.
    I didn't say that I don't know anything. Let's look at my argument again:

    Question 1. Did an intelligence make the universe?

    If No, there is no God
    If Yes, see question 2

    Question 2. Assuming this creator exists, is it the ruler of the universe?

    If No, there is no God
    If Yes, there is God.

    And my answer to BOTH of those questions is "I don't know".


    I said "I don't know to only TWO questions" which sure as hell is not admitting that I don't know anything at all.

    And the notion that I'm at all wrong for admitting that I don't know what NO ONE knows is ridiculous. I mean can you truthfully give a different answer? If you say you can, please support or retract that you can. If you can't, that's fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing the kinds of things that no one knows.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Your argument ENTIRELY DEPENDS on what religious people say! You have already filtered out so many ideas about God that this is clearly false! You have CHOSEN a monotheist God over other definitions so clearly you are paying attention to the details as to what religions say!
    I'm aware that the definition of the DDG arrives from religious belief. And I've chosen that definition because it is the most common definition in our language so I see no point in focusing the debate elsewhere. And yes, the claim that the DDG exists is a theistic claim. But I don't reject any claim out of hand. If I can conclude, with evidence and/or logic, that a claim is false, I reject it. If I can conclude that it is true (like I'm pretty sure some of the bible's historical descriptions have been confirmed but that doesn't validate any mystical/miraculous claims), then I accept them. And if I can't tell either way, I say "I don't know".

    What's wrong with that?

 

 
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