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  1. #1

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

    As an atheist, I have many reasons to believe that God doesn't exist - either the one shared by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam nor the many aspects of the Hindu deities or any other imaginary conscious creator. Today, I'd like to focus on the fact that what we understand about the universe doesn't allow for these beings to exist nor the claims made about these beings.

    1. Almost as a tautology, we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does.
    2. The most that believers can say is that God existed at one point in time, according to ancient knowledge passed down through ancient books, likely translated badly; and written and interpreted by equally fallible people, who stand the most to gain (in power and wealth) if their claims (and their own placement in the power hierarchy) are true.
    3. Current evidence of God's existence is sadly lacking - imaginary (Jesus on toast), fraudulent (fakhirs floating in mid-air), historically impossible (Turin shroud), biologically impossible (virgin birth, coming back to life) implausible (Mormism's Joseph Smith claiming magic glasses), actually impossible (flying horses of Islam), illogical (walking on water), contradictory (the several stories regarding Jesus' resurrection), internally nonsensical (if Jesus was/is God then his sacrifice to himself is a little meaningless - not much more than someone chopping off their own hand in order to forgive their friends from stealing from him).
    4. Since none of the claims of the existence of God accord with the current physics or biology then we have to dismiss those claims as being untrue.
    5. What's left then (if we ignore all the impossible claims) are those claims of unproven dimensions of existence (heaven/hell), magical powers (parting of seas, the flood) and vague promises of eternal bliss (even though there would be no physical body to feel such bliss!)

    In short:

    1. God doesn't exist until he is proven to.
    2. I distrust all the knowledge of the ancients, our only source of information for any of these beliefs.
    3. I distrust all current claims of knowledge because they are either outright frauds/lies/mistakes/guesses or they are entirely unproven/repeatable/verifiable.
    4. Most claims appear to be leaning towards being spectacular rather than grounded in current knowledge.

    Thoughts? Are there religious people who have provable reasons of God's existence or is faith (aka wishful thinking) the foundation of beliefs? Or do people act as if they believe (Pascal's Wager)? Or are they just stuck due to social constraints?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    1. Almost as a tautology, we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does.
    So unless something is absolutely proven to be true, we know it's false? Seriously? We have yet to prove that life exists elsewhere in our universe, so do we "know" it doesn't?

    2. The most that believers can say is that God existed at one point in time, according to ancient knowledge passed down through ancient books, likely translated badly; and written and interpreted by equally fallible people, who stand the most to gain (in power and wealth) if their claims (and their own placement in the power hierarchy) are true.
    Except many people believe in God without believing in any individual religion.

    3. Current evidence of God's existence is sadly lacking - imaginary (Jesus on toast), fraudulent (fakhirs floating in mid-air), historically impossible (Turin shroud), biologically impossible (virgin birth, coming back to life) implausible (Mormism's Joseph Smith claiming magic glasses), actually impossible (flying horses of Islam), illogical (walking on water), contradictory (the several stories regarding Jesus' resurrection), internally nonsensical (if Jesus was/is God then his sacrifice to himself is a little meaningless - not much more than someone chopping off their own hand in order to forgive their friends from stealing from him).
    We live in a universe where life not only exists, but has thrived for billions of years, which makes it far more logical that the universe was purposefully made than that it just happened to turn out this way. If something purposefully made the universe, it's reasonable to call it God.

    4. Since none of the claims of the existence of God accord with the current physics or biology then we have to dismiss those claims as being untrue.
    What aspects of physics or biology prove that the universe wasn't purposefully made?

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  4. #3

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

    Quote Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
    So unless something is absolutely proven to be true, we know it's false? Seriously? We have yet to prove that life exists elsewhere in our universe, so do we "know" it doesn't?
    No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying, you can't say it is true. We know life exists in the universe (that's us); we know some of the conditions that support it; we know that there are other planets that have similar conditions so we can conclude that life is possible in other planets. However, you can't say you know it does exist because we haven't found it - in the same manner, we haven't proven God exists in a reliable manner. You cannot say it doesn't exist either because we haven't visited every planet; but with God, we have pretty much shown every little scrap of information about him is very unreliable: we know this because there isn't one God, one religion that isn't under dispute in some way shape or form.

    In short - we know God doesn't exist because there is no reliable information about him - what he is, where he is, what he did or any aspect of him. It's all unproven speculation and wishful thinking.

    Except many people believe in God without believing in any individual religion.
    Sure, then they're imagining their own reality. Good on them if it makes them happy. But it certainly doesn't prove God exists! You surely are not saying that these individuals all believe in the same God! The Christian God!?


    We live in a universe where life not only exists, but has thrived for billions of years, which makes it far more logical that the universe was purposefully made than that it just happened to turn out this way. If something purposefully made the universe, it's reasonable to call it God.
    How is that more "logical"? Of all the things we know about artificially "made" things, they break and decay and are flawed! In fact, it is the things that are "made", without conscious thought, that seem to last the longest.

    And even if it were a given that something purposefully made the universe, how is it reasonable to call it "God"? We could just be some weird petri-dish experiment - so you'd call those scientists God too? Or we could be imaginings in some child's dream - is that child God? Or we could be a simulation in a computer - is the CPU of that computer God? Is the developer of the software God?

    I think it's the least logical explanation to think that a purposeful creator, if such a person existed, would be the same person that would tell us what to eat and how to behave, what to do with our most private thoughts and organs! And I would like to think that if such a creature existed, they'd come up with a better way to do things than sacrificing himself to himself!

    What aspects of physics or biology prove that the universe wasn't purposefully made?
    All of it - the idea of the fact that the universe can run itself without a conscious being nudging it along or that our DNA is inextricably linked to all other life, in a consistent way that also points to non-creation.

    There's the plausibility and logical aspect of thinking in a scientific way that is barren with religion. With religion, it's turtles all the way down, and up, and all over the place: it appears that people can just think new truths and everyone can be made to believe it.

    Unless it can be shown that a creator is necessary for the existence of the universe then we can safely dismiss the idea as being the meandering and postulations of ancient man, who frankly, had no idea of what they were talking about anyway.
    Last edited by SadElephant; May 15th, 2016 at 09:11 AM.

  5. #4
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying, you can't say it is true.
    Your OP stated repeatedly that unless God is proven to be true, then God doesn't exist ("God doesn't exist until he is proven to", "we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does.") So, yes, that is what you're saying. Deny it all you want, but that's the argument you're making.

    We know life exists in the universe (that's us); we know some of the conditions that support it; we know that there are other planets that have similar conditions so we can conclude that life is possible in other planets. However, you can't say you know it does exist because we haven't found it
    But we certainly can, and frequently do, say it's very likely life exists elsewhere in the universe, just like I can say it's very likely God exists. Do I know for a fact that God exists? Of course not. That's why I believe in God, rather than know. But you claim that God doesn't exist until He is proven to is nonsense.

    [/quote] - in the same manner, we haven't proven God exists in a reliable manner. You cannot say it doesn't exist either because we haven't visited every planet; but with God, we have pretty much shown every little scrap of information about him is very unreliable: we know this because there isn't one God, one religion that isn't under dispute in some way shape or form.[/quote]

    Something being "under dispute" doesn't mean it doesn't exist at all. There are people who dispute that we landed on the moon in 1969, but that doesn't mean we didn't.

    Sure, then they're imagining their own reality. Good on them if it makes them happy. But it certainly doesn't prove God exists!
    No, it doesn't prove God exists. But that doesn't mean you've proven that He doesn't.

    You surely are not saying that these individuals all believe in the same God! The Christian God!?
    God's existence isn't dependent on what people believe about God. Many people can be wrong about a lot of things concerning God, yet that doesn't make God non-existent.

    How is that more "logical"? Of all the things we know about artificially "made" things, they break and decay and are flawed! In fact, it is the things that are "made", without conscious thought, that seem to last the longest.
    Or maybe those things that are made by God rather than man (like the universe, which has existed for about 14 billion years) last the longest.

    And even if it were a given that something purposefully made the universe, how is it reasonable to call it "God"?
    I think it's fair to call that which purposefully created the universe and, ultimately, everything in it, is God. If you think it's unreasonable, so be it.

    I think it's the least logical explanation to think that a purposeful creator, if such a person existed, would be the same person that would tell us what to eat and how to behave, what to do with our most private thoughts and organs! And I would like to think that if such a creature existed, they'd come up with a better way to do things than sacrificing himself to himself!
    Believing that God didn't sacrifice himself to himself isn't an argument that God doesn't exist at all.

    All of it - the idea of the fact that the universe can run itself without a conscious being nudging it along
    How so? Seems like if you made a machine, you'd want it to be able to run without needing a lot of course correction.

    or that our DNA is inextricably linked to all other life, in a consistent way that also points to non-creation.
    How does all living creatures being related prove the universe wasn't purposefully created? Plenty of people, myself included, accept evolution as fact while still believing in God.

    There's the plausibility and logical aspect of thinking in a scientific way that is barren with religion. With religion, it's turtles all the way down, and up, and all over the place: it appears that people can just think new truths and everyone can be made to believe it.
    We're talking about God, not religion. Plenty of people believe in God without believing in any religion.

    Unless it can be shown that a creator is necessary for the existence of the universe then we can safely dismiss the idea as being the meandering and postulations of ancient man, who frankly, had no idea of what they were talking about anyway.
    Again, you seem to be arguing that unless something is absolutely proven true, it's absolutely proven false. That's nonsense.

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

    I'm a bit confused on the structure of your argument. The title of the thread and its opening seems to state that the nature of the universe or its facts preclude the possible existence of God. IE, your argument would seem to claim to be a demonstration that the existence of God to be a logical or observational impossibility. But the actual argument itself doesn't seem to show that. It seems to be more a defense of why you don't believe in God rather than a demonstration of how God's existence is logically problematic.

    Perhaps you could reframe your argument towards that end?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    1. God doesn't exist until he is proven to.
    I think this might have already been covered, but this is clearly not the case right? An object's existence is independent of our knowledge of it right? Pluto existed prior to 1930.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant
    2. I distrust all the knowledge of the ancients, our only source of information for any of these beliefs.
    This isn't a philosophical statement of epistomology, its a statement of your psychological state. Because you find something unconvincing isn't a good defense of why it is unreliable. To defend that conclusion, you would need to offer a specific defense of why that source is unreliable beyond your questioning of its motives (a fallacy).


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant
    3. I distrust all current claims of knowledge because they are either outright frauds/lies/mistakes/guesses or they are entirely unproven/repeatable/verifiable.
    Aside from this being another example of psychological state rather than epistemology, this is a hasty generalization fallacy. To defend this premise you would need to show more than a few examples and declarative statements as to their being false. Rather, you would need to show that these are representative of all religious claims and somehow are related to the fundamental premise of God rather than the premise of several individuals.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant
    4. Most claims appear to be leaning towards being spectacular rather than grounded in current knowledge.
    Hmm, I'm not sure why this premise supports your conclusion. Unless, of course, you have a hidden premise or assumption that "spectacular claims must be summarily dismissed" in which case that premise would need to be supported. Moving continents, an expanding universe, and species changing into other species are all spectacular claims that weren't grounded in conventional knowledge. It doesn't mean they were or should have been summarily dismissed.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant
    Thoughts? Are there religious people who have provable reasons of God's existence or is faith (aka wishful thinking) the foundation of beliefs? Or do people act as if they believe (Pascal's Wager)? Or are they just stuck due to social constraints?
    I'm curious if you've found this thread here: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...gical-Argument
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  7. #6

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

    Quote Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
    Your OP stated repeatedly that unless God is proven to be true, then God doesn't exist ("God doesn't exist until he is proven to", "we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does.") So, yes, that is what you're saying. Deny it all you want, but that's the argument you're making.
    My OP states that all knowledge about God is unreliable. If it's unreliable then you can't definitely say who or what God is: there is insufficient reliable information as to what you are even talking about. So how can you say something that you can't describe reliably exists?


    But we certainly can, and frequently do, say it's very likely life exists elsewhere in the universe, just like I can say it's very likely God exists. Do I know for a fact that God exists? Of course not. That's why I believe in God, rather than know. But you claim that God doesn't exist until He is proven to is nonsense.
    I mean you can't say he exists until proven. I agree that you believe he exists but that's no more binding or relevant outside your own mind than if you believe you saw a ghost.

    Something being "under dispute" doesn't mean it doesn't exist at all. There are people who dispute that we landed on the moon in 1969, but that doesn't mean we didn't.
    True but you can't possibly be saying that denying God exists is in the same ballpark as a conspiracy theory. My disbelief in God is grounded on facts, just as my belief that we landed on the moon is. What grounds do you have other than your personal emotional needs, your development in a Christian social context and some old books?

    No, it doesn't prove God exists. But that doesn't mean you've proven that He doesn't.
    As pointed out earlier, my goal isn't to prove he doesn't exist but that there isn't sufficient evidence to show what he is. I can't start proving something doesn't exist until I know what it even is! Creator of the universe is so vague that is meaningless so don't go there!


    God's existence isn't dependent on what people believe about God. Many people can be wrong about a lot of things concerning God, yet that doesn't make God non-existent.
    Well, if everyone is wrong then no-one is right about what God is. If there is no consensus then the whole exercise is pointless.

    Or maybe those things that are made by God rather than man (like the universe, which has existed for about 14 billion years) last the longest.
    So who made God? Does he have a god too? Is it turtles all the way up?

    I think it's fair to call that which purposefully created the universe and, ultimately, everything in it, is God. If you think it's unreasonable, so be it.
    Yes but how do you know it's a single entity? Some religions believe in different Gods, some or all who could have also had a hand in the universe's creation? It's not only unreasonable to call this possible creator "God" but a little presumptuous too. And on what basis do you even have this belief in the first place? How do you go from the universe exists to therefore, God exists?


    Believing that God didn't sacrifice himself to himself isn't an argument that God doesn't exist at all.
    Yes it does: it is an implausible story that doesn't make sense or stand up to any scrutiny. And somehow this single God is actually three separate entities, which are really one! Sounds to me like someone got their stories in a twist a bit!

    How so? Seems like if you made a machine, you'd want it to be able to run without needing a lot of course correction.
    Well, then God isn't as clever as you say he is then is he?

    How does all living creatures being related prove the universe wasn't purposefully created? Plenty of people, myself included, accept evolution as fact while still believing in God.
    It says so in Genesis that humans were created separately from the animals. The Adam & Eve story makes no sense given how DNA works - there really couldn't have been an Adam & Eve in such a way.


    We're talking about God, not religion. Plenty of people believe in God without believing in any religion.
    Sure and their singular imaginations are irrelevant: they have even less of a leg to stand on regarding the actual existence of their imaginary beings! Right?

    Again, you seem to be arguing that unless something is absolutely proven true, it's absolutely proven false. That's nonsense.
    Nope, I am saying it is absolutely proven false that something with no basis can be said to exist!

    ---------- Post added at 10:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:58 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I'm a bit confused on the structure of your argument. The title of the thread and its opening seems to state that the nature of the universe or its facts preclude the possible existence of God. IE, your argument would seem to claim to be a demonstration that the existence of God to be a logical or observational impossibility. But the actual argument itself doesn't seem to show that. It seems to be more a defense of why you don't believe in God rather than a demonstration of how God's existence is logically problematic.

    Perhaps you could reframe your argument towards that end?
    Sorry for not making it clear but the universe is what we know of it: so I am saying given what we know of the universe through science, what we know of religions and religious claims, that God cannot possibly exist. For one, the claims made don't accord with physical science and two, many of the claims are just proven to be completely false and taken as an aggregate of all religious beliefs, it is clear none of it is believable to all, even for those that believe in God.


    I think this might have already been covered, but this is clearly not the case right? An object's existence is independent of our knowledge of it right? Pluto existed prior to 1930.
    True, but a statement prior to 1930 with no evidence can be dismissed. You might as well postulate that there is a giant teapot on the dark side of the moon. There are going to be an infinite number of crazy claims people can make without evidence or proof; it is better to relegate them to not existing than existing.

    On Pluto, though, wasn't there some mathematical aberration that provided some grounds for belief? I don't see the same thing for God.


    This isn't a philosophical statement of epistomology, its a statement of your psychological state. Because you find something unconvincing isn't a good defense of why it is unreliable. To defend that conclusion, you would need to offer a specific defense of why that source is unreliable beyond your questioning of its motives (a fallacy).
    How is questioning motives a fallacy? Biases clearly affect people's judgement. We tend not to trust the words of a car salesman without additional proof, so why should we trust a priests?

    Also, I did point out why the Bible is unreliable - people didn't know anything back then - they just made up crazy stories all the time! Virgin birth - are you kidding me?


    Aside from this being another example of psychological state rather than epistemology, this is a hasty generalization fallacy. To defend this premise you would need to show more than a few examples and declarative statements as to their being false. Rather, you would need to show that these are representative of all religious claims and somehow are related to the fundamental premise of God rather than the premise of several individuals.
    Meh, why do I need to do all that work? People claim the infallibility of the Bible all the time and the truth of everything in it. I only need to find one example to bring the whole thing down.

    Besides, it may well be a 'psychology state', but it is one shared by people of other religions. And if something is only believed by people in that religion then that puts that person's reliability about the truth value in even more doubt.

    It is not necessary to go into an epistemological argument when it is clear that the claims are unreliable to begin with: the statements make no sense, the people are in it to make their religion sound more convincing and powerful and the priesthood equally obviously in it for themselves too. If you don't see scam written all over it then I have a bridge to sell you!


    Hmm, I'm not sure why this premise supports your conclusion. Unless, of course, you have a hidden premise or assumption that "spectacular claims must be summarily dismissed" in which case that premise would need to be supported. Moving continents, an expanding universe, and species changing into other species are all spectacular claims that weren't grounded in conventional knowledge. It doesn't mean they were or should have been summarily dismissed.
    Moving continents isn't spectacular - it's just big rocks. DNA isn't spectacular either - it's just code moving around. To your point, 'spectacular claims' are those claims that are against how the universe is known to work - I mean miracles and other weird stuff that people claim their Gods did.

    I'm curious if you've found this thread here: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...gical-Argument
    No, but I am aware of such logical arguments. They're very unconvincing not least because, as the first response said, there may be other explanations - such as natural forces, or even multiple Gods, or even no Gods but giant alien scientists. There are plenty of ways the universe could have been brought into existence if we're allowed to use our imagination; in fact, our human history is replete with them! But at that point you'll have to agree that God is only one of several imaginings.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    My OP states that all knowledge about God is unreliable. If it's unreliable then you can't definitely say who or what God is: there is insufficient reliable information as to what you are even talking about. So how can you say something that you can't describe reliably exists?
    Your OP says that if God can't be proven to exist, then God doesn't exist. I'm pointing out how ridiculous such a statement is. If you want to admit that lack of proof for existence doesn't prove non-existence, I'll let it go. But if you're going to keep arguing this nonsense, I'm going to keep pointing out how stupid it is.

    I mean you can't say he exists until proven.
    Sure I can. I'm allowed to state what I believe, aren't I?

    True but you can't possibly be saying that denying God exists is in the same ballpark as a conspiracy theory.
    I was just pointing out that something being "under dispute" doesn't mean it's false. I'm glad you agree this statement is true, since that's the only point I was making there.

    My disbelief in God is grounded on facts,
    Then you might want to present those facts rather than making the ridiculous argument that lack of proof of God somehow equals proof that God doesn't exist.

    What grounds do you have other than your personal emotional needs, your development in a Christian social context and some old books?
    I grew up in an atheist household, actually, and was a deist for many years (deists don't get their belief in God from any old books). The fact that the universe is capable of creating and sustaining life is what caused me to believe in God's existence, since it was the most rational explanation.

    As pointed out earlier, my goal isn't to prove he doesn't exist but that there isn't sufficient evidence to show what he is.
    Which you claimed meant God doesn't exist. That's clearly ludicrous.

    Well, if everyone is wrong then no-one is right about what God is. If there is no consensus then the whole exercise is pointless.
    There's no consensus on what forms of life exist elsewhere in the universe, or where it is. Is that evidence that no life exists elsewhere in the universe? Are you beginning to see why your argument doesn't work? Yes? No?

    So who made God? Does he have a god too?
    Since there's no reason to believe that whatever force created the universe has a beginning itself, that's a pointless question. Only that which begins to exist requires a cause.

    Yes but how do you know it's a single entity?
    I don't, but Occam's Razor suggests one God is more rational than several gods.

    And on what basis do you even have this belief in the first place? How do you go from the universe exists to therefore, God exists?
    Again, the fact that the universe is capable of creating life and sustaining it for billions of years suggests purpose.

    Yes it does: it is an implausible story that doesn't make sense or stand up to any scrutiny. And somehow this single God is actually three separate entities, which are really one! Sounds to me like someone got their stories in a twist a bit!
    The idea that George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River is also implausible. Per your logic, this should be taken as proof that George Washington didn't exist, right?

    Well, then God isn't as clever as you say he is then is he?
    Huh? You think if an inventor is more clever, his machine will be more faulty and thus need more correction? It seems to me a better inventor's machines would be more likely to function on their own.

    It says so in Genesis that humans were created separately from the animals. The Adam & Eve story makes no sense given how DNA works - there really couldn't have been an Adam & Eve in such a way.
    And obviously those who believe in evolution believe the Adam and Eve story isn't historical. The Adam and Eve story is a parable, as many of those who believe in God will say.

    Nope, I am saying it is absolutely proven false that something with no basis can be said to exist!
    Yes, but based on your belief that if God can't be proven to exist, then it's absolutely proven that He doesn't. I'm showing how ludicrous such an argument is.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Sorry for not making it clear but the universe is what we know of it: so I am saying given what we know of the universe through science, what we know of religions and religious claims, that God cannot possibly exist.
    Ok, thank you for clarifying. I would propose that the nature of the argument you've made though does not support that conclusion. Rather, your argument seems to be that the sum of scientific knowledge does not support God's existence, not that the sum of scientific knowledge rules out the possibility of God.

    Let me propose an example. Let's say you and I were to walk into a 10x10 room that is apparently empty.

    We both agree that there isn't an elephant in the room.

    One argument (the one I think you are making in this thread) is that there is no evidence that an elephant exists in the room.

    Another argument would be that an elephant cannot, by its nature exist in this room since elephants are bigger than 10x10. IE the nature of the room precludes the possible existence of an elephant.

    Your title and explanation would seem to point to the second argument, but you post itself would be the first.

    Does that clarify my concern?

    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    There are going to be an infinite number of crazy claims people can make without evidence or proof; it is better to relegate them to not existing than existing.
    Why? Wouldn't an agnostic position be more appropriate to a claim without evidence?


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    How is questioning motives a fallacy?
    Because the motivations of the person making a claim are irrelevant to the truth of the claim itself, that is why it is generally an example of a ad hom fallacy. If you discovered that I was receiving $1000 for telling you that 2+2=4 does that make the equation any less true?


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Also, I did point out why the Bible is unreliable - people didn't know anything back then - they just made up crazy stories all the time! Virgin birth - are you kidding me?
    Well you claimed it was unreliable, you didn't support that assertion. Your latter statement is an appeal to ridicule fallacy. http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...-ridicule.html


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Meh, why do I need to do all that work?
    Because you are attempting to formulate a coherent argument that convinces other people?

    Also, because the goals of this site are to encourage coherent argumentation rather than simply opinion arguments.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Besides, it may well be a 'psychology state', but it is one shared by people of other religions.
    Sorry, I hope that statement didn't offend you, I didn't intend it as a pejorative. Rather, I was using the term 'psychological state' in the technical sense, a statement about your belief or rejection of something rather than a claim about its epistemology.

    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Moving continents isn't spectacular - it's just big rocks.
    It isn't spectacular to you because you believe in continental drift. For geologists before its acceptance it was radical, and spectacular, and "fantastical." Proponents were laughed at and ridiculed in much the same way you are mocking and ridiculing religious believers here.

    The point is we shouldn't use subjective terminology like "spectacular" if we are trying to formulate a sound argument. A sound argument deals with the specific nature of the claims rather than how the appear subjectively to the arguer.

    For example, South America was connected to Africa? Those claims are "delirious ravings” and other symptoms of “moving crust disease and wandering pole plague.” http://www.smithsonianmag.com/scienc...353214/?no-ist

    The type of rebuttal matters, and simple mockery isn't an argument. If the claim is so manifestly ludicrous, it should be easy to conclusively and decisively disprove it, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    They're very unconvincing not least because, as the first response said, there may be other explanations - such as natural forces, or even multiple Gods, or even no Gods but giant alien scientists.
    I'm assuming you didn't read the first response to that. You'll notice that none of those factors can be causally explanatory explanations of the universe being that they are all part of the universe.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
    Your OP says that if God can't be proven to exist, then God doesn't exist. I'm pointing out how ridiculous such a statement is. If you want to admit that lack of proof for existence doesn't prove non-existence, I'll let it go. But if you're going to keep arguing this nonsense, I'm going to keep pointing out how stupid it is.
    I see what you're saying but I also point out that God can't even be reliably described enough to prove to exist. We're not at the point yet where we can even reliably talk about features that can be proven; the universe doesn't allow for God to exist in a way that he can be discovered!

    Sure I can. I'm allowed to state what I believe, aren't I?
    Sure, but then what is the basis of your belief? There has to be something more important than personal wishful thinking and social cues!

    I was just pointing out that something being "under dispute" doesn't mean it's false. I'm glad you agree this statement is true, since that's the only point I was making there.
    Agreed, but neither does your counter-example provide a valid rebuttal either.

    Then you might want to present those facts rather than making the ridiculous argument that lack of proof of God somehow equals proof that God doesn't exist.
    Lack of agreement of information about God equals proof that he is very unlikely to exist. That's one fact to start with.

    I grew up in an atheist household, actually, and was a deist for many years (deists don't get their belief in God from any old books). The fact that the universe is capable of creating and sustaining life is what caused me to believe in God's existence, since it was the most rational explanation.
    So how do you get information about your beliefs? How do you even begin to think that a conscious being created the universe without additional input from others? And what will happen to that belief once we figure out how to make living creatures from scratch ourselves? Would that make us Gods?

    Which you claimed meant God doesn't exist. That's clearly ludicrous.
    Not entirely, it means that the current believers of God are ludicrous in believing such unreliable information that is completely under dispute and contradiction.


    There's no consensus on what forms of life exist elsewhere in the universe, or where it is. Is that evidence that no life exists elsewhere in the universe? Are you beginning to see why your argument doesn't work? Yes? No?
    Agreed but there is consensus on what is necessary for life as we know it. So that's what we seek. That's why it was a big deal with NASA found (and later retracted) that silicon could be the basis of life. So, no, I don't see the point of your argument. My point is that in science where there is general consensus, it means that it has been validated independently. With God, there is no such human consensus at all - it's all cultural and contradictory.

    Since there's no reason to believe that whatever force created the universe has a beginning itself, that's a pointless question. Only that which begins to exist requires a cause.
    Wut? So you're saying there is only one level of existence: God and us. That's it. You know this how!?

    I don't, but Occam's Razor suggests one God is more rational than several gods.
    OR is not a law either. But the important point now is not only have you come to the conclusion that there is a God, but he is the only one, we're his only creation and there can be no other possibility of other Gods doing their own thing! All of this is a huge stretch IMHO and well beyond what we know about the universe!

    Again, the fact that the universe is capable of creating life and sustaining it for billions of years suggests purpose.
    It doesn't suggest anything of the sort! The obvious challenge is for you to describe the purpose but again, this is another belief that you really have no proof of.


    The idea that George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River is also implausible. Per your logic, this should be taken as proof that George Washington didn't exist, right?
    I've never heard of such a claim but how is that implausible? But to your point, we don't have to rely on this story to prove GW's existence - there are plenty of other reasons to believe he exists. Can you say the same for Moses? Jesus?


    Huh? You think if an inventor is more clever, his machine will be more faulty and thus need more correction? It seems to me a better inventor's machines would be more likely to function on their own.
    So you think God is also super clever? Now we're talking about qualities of a deity who you admit you didn't get from books but somehow he's clever!


    And obviously those who believe in evolution believe the Adam and Eve story isn't historical. The Adam and Eve story is a parable, as many of those who believe in God will say.
    Wait, if you came to believe in God yourself, how does that make you also a Christian? And if the story of Genesis is a parable then doesn't that make the whole idea of original sin also a parable? In which case, what's the point of Jesus in the first place!

    Yes, but based on your belief that if God can't be proven to exist, then it's absolutely proven that He doesn't. I'm showing how ludicrous such an argument is.
    Yet you have not shown God to be necessary for the creation of this universe. If he is not necessary, according to Occam's Razor you brought up earlier, then he is unnecessary. Therefore, since there is also no consensus on what he is, how he created the universe, who with and what for, the best conclusion, using Occam's Razor again, is that God, any God, does not and can not exist.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I see what you're saying but I also point out that God can't even be reliably described enough to prove to exist. We're not at the point yet where we can even reliably talk about features that can be proven; the universe doesn't allow for God to exist in a way that he can be discovered!
    I agree that God cannot be proven to exist. But that doesn't mean He positively does not exist, as you claim it does.

    Sure, but then what is the basis of your belief? There has to be something more important than personal wishful thinking and social cues!
    Again, the fact that the universe can create and sustain life for billions of years.

    Lack of agreement of information about God equals proof that he is very unlikely to exist. That's one fact to start with.
    Does lack of agreement of information about life on other planets prove that life on other planets is very unlikely to exist?

    So how do you get information about your beliefs? How do you even begin to think that a conscious being created the universe without additional input from others?
    Logic tells me that a universe orderly enough to create and sustain life is probably not just kind of accident.

    And what will happen to that belief once we figure out how to make living creatures from scratch ourselves? Would that make us Gods?
    Ummm....no.

    Not entirely, it means that the current believers of God are ludicrous in believing such unreliable information that is completely under dispute and contradiction.
    Yet you believe that if something can't be proven to exist, then it positively does not exist. That's not just under dispute and contradiction, but contrary to common sense. Honestly, I expected you to admit this idea was utter nonsense in your first response to me, since it's got to be clear to you that it is. Yet you still seem to want to defend it.

    Agreed but there is consensus on what is necessary for life as we know it. So that's what we seek. That's why it was a big deal with NASA found (and later retracted) that silicon could be the basis of life. So, no, I don't see the point of your argument. My point is that in science where there is general consensus, it means that it has been validated independently.
    Except the existence of life on other planets has not been validated independently.

    Wut? So you're saying there is only one level of existence: God and us. That's it. You know this how!?
    When did I say there is only one level existence or that I know this? Why are you putting words in my mouth? I never said such a thing.

    OR is not a law either. But the important point now is not only have you come to the conclusion that there is a God, but he is the only one, we're his only creation and there can be no other possibility of other Gods doing their own thing! All of this is a huge stretch IMHO and well beyond what we know about the universe!
    Stop putting words in my mouth. I never said any such thing. You may be of the mind that something is either 100% proven to be true or it's 100% false, but I never said there weren't other possibilities.

    It doesn't suggest anything of the sort! The obvious challenge is for you to describe the purpose but again, this is another belief that you really have no proof of.
    Yes, and to you, it it can't be absolutely proven, then it must be absolutely false. That's ridiculous.

    I've never heard of such a claim but how is that implausible?
    The Potomac river is a mile wide. No one could throw a silver dollar across it.

    But to your point, we don't have to rely on this story to prove GW's existence - there are plenty of other reasons to believe he exists.
    So you agree that having a story you deem to be implausible about someone isn't evidence that they don't exist, right?

    So you think God is also super clever? Now we're talking about qualities of a deity who you admit you didn't get from books but somehow he's clever!
    Stop putting words in my mouth. I was just pointing out that your claim that if God was clever, the universe he made would need course correction, was nonsensical. A better inventor's machine would require less course correction, not more.

    Wait, if you came to believe in God yourself, how does that make you also a Christian?
    Because I later came to believe in Jesus.

    And if the story of Genesis is a parable then doesn't that make the whole idea of original sin also a parable? In which case, what's the point of Jesus in the first place!
    We're still sinners. Adam and Eve was a parable to explain it all, the same way Jesus used parables to teach important points.

    Yet you have not shown God to be necessary for the creation of this universe. If he is not necessary, according to Occam's Razor you brought up earlier, then he is unnecessary.
    God is a better explanation for why the universe is capable of creating and sustaining life than random chance.

    Therefore, since there is also no consensus on what he is, how he created the universe, who with and what for, the best conclusion, using Occam's Razor again, is that God, any God, does not and can not exist.
    Occam's Razor never says something does not and can not exist. That's just your "logic", that if something can't be absolutely proven, then it does not and can not exist. Which if taken to its logical conclusion, would mean that everything that has yet to be discovered (including, but not limited to, life on other planets) does not and can not exist. Which is why your logic is ridiculous.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Ok, thank you for clarifying. I would propose that the nature of the argument you've made though does not support that conclusion. Rather, your argument seems to be that the sum of scientific knowledge does not support God's existence, not that the sum of scientific knowledge rules out the possibility of God.
    Yes, that is partially true but it is also the case that there is unreliable information about the nature of God if you include all human contact with him. So there isn't much reliable information there to begin with.

    Scientific knowledge is making God irrelevant and unnecessary for the creation of the universe and keeping it running. Why would you need to propose a new kind of being, living in a new dimension, outside of our universe that communicates suspiciously unreliably about how we should live our lives?

    So all we have left are unreliable stories of fantasy to bolster equally unreliable stories of Gods running around Earth impregnating humans. This is not just science at play but also just common sense.

    Let me propose an example. Let's say you and I were to walk into a 10x10 room that is apparently empty.

    We both agree that there isn't an elephant in the room.

    One argument (the one I think you are making in this thread) is that there is no evidence that an elephant exists in the room.

    Another argument would be that an elephant cannot, by its nature exist in this room since elephants are bigger than 10x10. IE the nature of the room precludes the possible existence of an elephant.

    Your title and explanation would seem to point to the second argument, but you post itself would be the first.

    Does that clarify my concern?
    I understand your concern but that's not what I'm saying. I am saying several things:

    1. Religious folk are claiming this elephant has spoken to them. We know that elephants cannot talk so therefore their claims are in dispute even before we discuss the elephant.
    2. Religious folk are claiming this elephant created this room but even ignoring that we know it didn't and that elephants can't build anything, just by examining how the room was constructed that it isn't necessary to make the claim that anyone other than humans made this room.
    3. The people making claims about the elephant and explaining that he doesn't occupy normal space, and exists outside of this universe anyway, happen to control all knowledge about this elephant so all we know about this thing is only through them. So the claims are suspect.

    My counter to your example, as a religious person is simple: even though an elephant can't fit in the room, the elephant is endowed with powers to shrink and therefore fit. Do you see how religious/magical thinking works? The normal rules of the universe, the ones we have proof positive of working, don't apply to religious arguments because they always have this Trump card.

    Nevertheless, I get your concern, I hope I have addressed them. I know you're looking for absolute proof that God it is logically impossible to exist but if a religious person can bring in magic, then that would be a difficult task indeed! I approach it from a different angle - that we don't know what God is and we have better explanations for the same claims made of him.


    Why? Wouldn't an agnostic position be more appropriate to a claim without evidence?
    I think agnosticism is a valid position if there's an equal chance of both sides being true but in the case of God given the unreliable and suspicious and self serving nature of all the information around him I think we'd have to lower the bar on the quality of evidence quite a bit.
    We're not agnostic about Hindu's magic elephant are we? Or Santa? Or the ancient Gods?

    An agnostic position is entirely inappropriate if the claims don't pass simple muster IMHO.

    Because the motivations of the person making a claim are irrelevant to the truth of the claim itself, that is why it is generally an example of a ad hom fallacy. If you discovered that I was receiving $1000 for telling you that 2+2=4 does that make the equation any less true?
    It depends on the claim though, so I don't think your one size fits all fallacy applies here. Firstly, buying a used car is fraught with suspicion and we do our best to verify the claims made by the salesman. And if the claims are more outlandish and against our understanding of the universe then I think it's going to be less of an ad hom than basically distrusting known liars!

    This brings to mind the story of the boy who cried wolf: yes, he could have been right that one time about that one thing he always lied about but then perhaps religious people should be toning down their claims a bit.


    Well you claimed it was unreliable, you didn't support that assertion. Your latter statement is an appeal to ridicule fallacy. http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...-ridicule.html
    Having sex with humans, actually breeding with them, human/animal hybrids, walking on water, raising the dead, parting a river, creating the universe, etc. Are claims that should be ridiculed - they don't make sense, they're claims that are clearly made in ancient times when people were more susceptible to superstition and frankly, I think you're overusing those fallacies, which are meant to apply to a normal universe.

    They are unreliable stories because they are too fantastical to be true: the flood, Adam & Eve (which KingDavid is saying is actually not true), the virgin birth, flying horses, etc. I don't know if it really needs a detailed rebuttal explain how crazy these ideas are.

    Because you are attempting to formulate a coherent argument that convinces other people?

    Also, because the goals of this site are to encourage coherent argumentation rather than simply opinion arguments.
    Well, first of all there is no point arguing with religious folk - they already believe for whatever real reasons they believe. There is no reasoning someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.

    Sorry, I hope that statement didn't offend you, I didn't intend it as a pejorative. Rather, I was using the term 'psychological state' in the technical sense, a statement about your belief or rejection of something rather than a claim about its epistemology.
    Thanks - I was not at all offended; I agree opinions hold less weight than a full logical treatment but in some cases we have to rely on our gut for how to use our precious energy. I mean, you wouldn't demand the same treatment for the Gods of Zeus so why the God of Christianity?

    It isn't spectacular to you because you believe in continental drift. For geologists before its acceptance it was radical, and spectacular, and "fantastical." Proponents were laughed at and ridiculed in much the same way you are mocking and ridiculing religious believers here.
    Firstly, I'm not trying to come off as mocking, I don't mean that much disrespect. However, I think it is fair game to ridicule and point out the silly nature of such beliefs: the reason why is that these beliefs have been and are currently used to justify terrible harm onto others. When you're saying that your God created a human version of himself to sacrifice himself to himself then I'm sorry but that's just a silly idea.

    Also, it's one thing to mock and ridicule something that is new - that's how ideas are tested: good ideas need strong believers to overcome resistance. On the other hand, mocking old and ancient ideas for being naive and lacking modern facts is fair game. It may be fallacious but sometimes it takes humor to see the truth.

    The point is we shouldn't use subjective terminology like "spectacular" if we are trying to formulate a sound argument. A sound argument deals with the specific nature of the claims rather than how the appear subjectively to the arguer.

    For example, South America was connected to Africa? Those claims are "delirious ravings” and other symptoms of “moving crust disease and wandering pole plague.” http://www.smithsonianmag.com/scienc...353214/?no-ist

    The type of rebuttal matters, and simple mockery isn't an argument. If the claim is so manifestly ludicrous, it should be easy to conclusively and decisively disprove it, right?
    True, but I'd defend ridicule as a reliable first pass. If it is ridiculous for someone to sacrifice themselves to themselves then we can drill in and figure out why that is the case.

    And it's possible that through the ridiculing of plate tectonics that they discover it's not a bad idea and that it would be possible given time. I really don't see such epiphanies with religions and gods unfortunately.

    I'm assuming you didn't read the first response to that. You'll notice that none of those factors can be causally explanatory explanations of the universe being that they are all part of the universe.
    I know. These arguments keep popping up on Reddit every six months and it's always very laborious. I have yet to see an argument that isn't Occam's Razor that requires that this so-called creator is a single person, and not the many gods that other religions claim. Or how a natural explanation is impossible.

    Basically, it's a useless argument that has zero force or effect. It's neither convincing (as attested to by nearly every non-believer) nor does it really answer any questions other than bolstering pre-existing beliefs.

    Another argument of this ilk is the presupposition argument that takes the existence of God as an axiom. It's all just self-serving arguments that only work on religious people. I'd not waste too much time on that line of argument.

    Besides, the idea of God hasn't even passed muster to begin with - it's pointless trying to prove the existence of something that can't possibly exist!

    ---------- Post added at 05:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:40 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
    I agree that God cannot be proven to exist. But that doesn't mean He positively does not exist, as you claim it does.
    Again, I am claiming that we are not at a sufficient point where it even makes sense to talk about 'proof'. The idea of God doesn't even pass muster to reach the level of exploration - the idea isn't on solid ground to begin criticizing. And let's not forget that you can pull out magic whenever you want. So let's make sure we know where we stand.


    Again, the fact that the universe can create and sustain life for billions of years.
    I don't get how life necessitates a god - what's the link? Why is it so weird that life just came together naturally without any conscious contact?


    Does lack of agreement of information about life on other planets prove that life on other planets is very unlikely to exist?
    There is no lack of agreement: everyone agrees that there is no life discovered! No-one disagrees with what is required for life but people do disagree about what God and his pantheon even is. There's so much disagreement that it's impossible to even start discussing God without choosing a specific religion.


    Logic tells me that a universe orderly enough to create and sustain life is probably not just kind of accident.
    Calling it an accident is a red herring - it's not the only other possibility. Life came about through cumulative changes that built on successive generations: that's not accidental, which requires consciousness, it's random processes which don't. Have you never put a pair of headphones in your pocket perfectly rolled up only to have it appear totally twisted? Would you say that this complexity was done by a conscious being in your pocket? Or do you realize that successive twists and knots build up - that it is more likely to get more twisted and complex than returning to its original simple form?

    Ummm....no.
    Why not? We made life, just as you claimed God did and it doesn't appear to be that difficult. How can we not be but Gods?

    Yet you believe that if something can't be proven to exist, then it positively does not exist. That's not just under dispute and contradiction, but contrary to common sense. Honestly, I expected you to admit this idea was utter nonsense in your first response to me, since it's got to be clear to you that it is. Yet you still seem to want to defend it.
    You need to stop saying that - I have clarified my position many times. Something that can't be nailed down can't be proven in the first place; something that contradicts our known universe is unlikely to exist; something that hasn't been proven to exist or possible to exist is even more unlikely to exist. You're reading a much stronger statement than I have been putting forward, it's a total strawman to continue down this line of thinking.


    Except the existence of life on other planets has not been validated independently.
    No one is claiming otherwise! Are you confusing the agreement as to the conditions necessary for life with the discovery of life?


    When did I say there is only one level existence or that I know this? Why are you putting words in my mouth? I never said such a thing.
    Well, you said that God didn't have a creator so that means that in the hierarchy of creation, there is only God and us; that God has no creator! Somehow you make the additional claim that this God who created our universe, could not possibly have a creator himself! Not only do you not believe in something you don't have proof of (that something conscious created this universe) you somehow come to the conclusion that you know (again with no proof) that this creature is the only one! That's just too much man.

    Stop putting words in my mouth. I never said any such thing. You may be of the mind that something is either 100% proven to be true or it's 100% false, but I never said there weren't other possibilities.
    OK, then you agree that God may not exist at all then?

    Yes, and to you, it it can't be absolutely proven, then it must be absolutely false. That's ridiculous.
    I didn't say absolutely false - I am just information gathering as to what you believe God to be, what our purpose is within his creation, and how you know that he wasn't in turn created by another God. You appear not to have proof about many beliefs, indeed every part of your beliefs and it is all based upon a tenuous link to the fact of the existence of life!

    There's currently nothing to falsify because you haven't passed muster for your position to be understood at any level yet. I cannot disagree with what I currently do not understand.


    The Potomac river is a mile wide. No one could throw a silver dollar across it.
    Except that the story can be dismissed simply by those silver dollars not even existing at the time of Washington; and again, simply, that this would be so much money that he would unlikely throw it away even if there were (http://kenmore.org/education/kidstuff/legends.html). We can therefore conclude this is a myth. We can play the same game with nearly all religious claims - once you have removed the miracles, there's really not much left. In your specific set of beliefs we are currently exploring, you seem to be able to make all sorts of claims about this God without any additional proof! Therefore, I have to conclude these are your own personal meanderings and beliefs that don't need to be explored further: it's a personal set of beliefs which you can develop in any way you wish in your mind.

    So you agree that having a story you deem to be implausible about someone isn't evidence that they don't exist, right?
    Of course - I don't doubt there was some real Moses figure, or Jesus, or Mohammed or Smith. I just doubt that they are Gods or miracle workers. And without that magical sheen, they are nothing but ordinary men with extra-ordinary influence. Good on them: that doesn't make their claims true nor does it mean they are proof of a God.

    Stop putting words in my mouth. I was just pointing out that your claim that if God was clever, the universe he made would need course correction, was nonsensical. A better inventor's machine would require less course correction, not more.
    So you're not making the claim god is intelligent? Just conscious?


    Because I later came to believe in Jesus.
    Jesus or Christ? The man or the myth?

    We're still sinners. Adam and Eve was a parable to explain it all, the same way Jesus used parables to teach important points.
    It doesn't explain anything other than we are born with sin. That's a totally different statement from saying that we're all sinners. So it doesn't explain anything. Jesus' role was to sacrifice himself to Himself to absolve us of the original sin. Right? So how does Adam & Eve, as a parable explain anything? It we didn't really have original sin then Jesus' purpose is moot. Right?


    God is a better explanation for why the universe is capable of creating and sustaining life than random chance.
    But it wasn't JUST random chance; it was cumulative random chance where things got more and more complex until life happened. I don't know how God (which you haven't proven yet you're still able to make definitive statements about his nature) is any better: you're replacing what you don't understand with something you can't prove. How is that better for anyone!?

    Occam's Razor never says something does not and can not exist. That's just your "logic", that if something can't be absolutely proven, then it does not and can not exist. Which if taken to its logical conclusion, would mean that everything that has yet to be discovered (including, but not limited to, life on other planets) does not and can not exist. Which is why your logic is ridiculous.
    For the last time hopefully, you need to stop this line of argument and stick to things I have said and not your interpretation of what you wish I had said. I am not your God, where you can make assumptions in your own mind with impunity.

    I understand how compelling have a gotcha argument is but I keep having to disabuse you of it and you need to respect my beliefs over your own interpretations of my beliefs.

    Just to quickly summarize:

    My position is that it is extremely unlikely for God to exist because there is no consistent description about what God is, what he did, who his pantheon are and what the nature of heaven & hell are: there is frankly nothing other than the emotional need to attribute a perfectly natural explanation for the existence of our universe and life within it towards something conscious. And there are no reasons behind this need either other than power over others. Nor is there proof as to additional claims made of God - that God has no creator, we are his only creation, and there are no other Gods - all again without any real purpose or reason. Believing in God is a non-starter for all these reasons but most of all, God is a burdensome and unnecessary explanation for the universe and life within it: it asks more questions and brings in more unknowns than we started with! Religions around God's supposed exploits on Earth with humans are even less believable requiring actual contradictions as to how physics and human biology works. In short: it's a massive stack of turtles, each one requiring the other and the foundation is even more magical and unproven!

    Note that all of the above isn't 'disproving God' yet. It is establishing that there is little to believe, there no substance to even begin the questions of proof and disproof. The universe required to support this God would be drastically different from the one we know and love. So my point remains that there is no God, it is some human anthropomorphism much like every other human anthropomorphism in the past (Zeus & lightning for example). And human imagination builds on top of itself - thus in a few short exchanges we go from a conscious creator of the universe to many, many other claims, each equally implausible and fantastical.

    So let's be clear that the weakness isn't on my part: it is clearly on yours - your unfounded and unproven claim that it is 'logical' that life could require a conscious being, your equally unfounded and unproven claim that this being happens to not have a creator, and then this creator came to earth in human form through unnatural processes in order to get out of a position he himself put us in! Literally everything you have said beyond agreeing that the universe and life exists is completely unfounded! How do you keep it together?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Again, I am claiming that we are not at a sufficient point where it even makes sense to talk about 'proof'. The idea of God doesn't even pass muster to reach the level of exploration - the idea isn't on solid ground to begin criticizing. And let's not forget that you can pull out magic whenever you want. So let's make sure we know where we stand.
    Yes, let's make sure we know where we stand. You said in your OP that "we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does." Are you still arguing this?

    I don't get how life necessitates a god - what's the link? Why is it so weird that life just came together naturally without any conscious contact?
    Because the odds of the universe being organized enough for this to happen, and to sustain this life for billions of years, are astronomical. It's like picking up a coherent novel and believing it was created by an illiterate person just typing random letters on a typewriter.

    There is no lack of agreement: everyone agrees that there is no life discovered! No-one disagrees with what is required for life but people do disagree about what God and his pantheon even is. There's so much disagreement that it's impossible to even start discussing God without choosing a specific religion.
    Why? Many non-religious people believe in God, so why do we have to choose a religion?

    Calling it an accident is a red herring - it's not the only other possibility. Life came about through cumulative changes that built on successive generations:
    Generations of non-living things?

    that's not accidental, which requires consciousness, it's random processes which don't. Have you never put a pair of headphones in your pocket perfectly rolled up only to have it appear totally twisted? Would you say that this complexity was done by a conscious being in your pocket? Or do you realize that successive twists and knots build up - that it is more likely to get more twisted and complex than returning to its original simple form?
    Again, I believe in evolution. But the universe would have to be capable of sustaining life in order for to evolve.

    Why not? We made life, just as you claimed God did and it doesn't appear to be that difficult. How can we not be but Gods?
    Because someone creating a new life form doesn't conform to any definition of God that I've heard. A pregnant woman is creating a new life, but that doesn't make her a God.

    You need to stop saying that - I have clarified my position many times. Something that can't be nailed down can't be proven in the first place; something that contradicts our known universe is unlikely to exist; something that hasn't been proven to exist or possible to exist is even more unlikely to exist. You're reading a much stronger statement than I have been putting forward, it's a total strawman to continue down this line of thinking.
    Your statement that "we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does" is quite strong. You've said things along these lines repeatedly. If you want to say you don't believe this, go right ahead. But simply pointing out other things you have said doesn't mean you don't believe your statement to be true.

    No one is claiming otherwise! Are you confusing the agreement as to the conditions necessary for life with the discovery of life?
    No, I'm pointing out that your claim that "we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does", would, if applied consistently, mean that life on other planets doesn't exist, since we don't know, haven't proven, or shown that it does.

    Well, you said that God didn't have a creator so that means that in the hierarchy of creation, there is only God and us; that God has no creator! Somehow you make the additional claim that this God who created our universe, could not possibly have a creator himself! Not only do you not believe in something you don't have proof of (that something conscious created this universe) you somehow come to the conclusion that you know (again with no proof) that this creature is the only one! That's just too much man.
    Again, stop putting words in my mouth. I said there's no reason to believe that God has a creator, and you're twisting it to pretend I'm saying God doesn't (or couldn't possibly) have a creator. Discussing this with you is getting pointless, considering you either are not understanding my points, or purposely twisting them to make it sound like I'm arguing something that I'm not.

    OK, then you agree that God may not exist at all then?
    Of course. I believe in God. I don't know that He exists.

    I didn't say absolutely false - I am just information gathering as to what you believe God to be, what our purpose is within his creation, and how you know that he wasn't in turn created by another God. You appear not to have proof about many beliefs, indeed every part of your beliefs and it is all based upon a tenuous link to the fact of the existence of life!
    Correct. I don't have proof. And I never said I "know that he wasn't in turn created by another God." Those are words you put into my mouth, which I'm getting sick and tired of.

    Except that the story can be dismissed simply by those silver dollars not even existing at the time of Washington; and again, simply, that this would be so much money that he would unlikely throw it away even if there were (http://kenmore.org/education/kidstuff/legends.html). We can therefore conclude this is a myth.
    Which was my point. But that doesn't mean George Washington didn't exist.

    We can play the same game with nearly all religious claims - once you have removed the miracles, there's really not much left.
    So you obviously completely misunderstand the point I was making.

    Of course - I don't doubt there was some real Moses figure, or Jesus, or Mohammed or Smith. I just doubt that they are Gods or miracle workers. And without that magical sheen, they are nothing but ordinary men with extra-ordinary influence. Good on them: that doesn't make their claims true nor does it mean they are proof of a God.
    And even if they weren't miracle workers, that doesn't make them disproof of a God. Understand? You were arguing that certain aspects of the Jesus story are implausible, and using this as evidence that God doesn't exist. I'm pointing out that implausible aspects of a story aren't a disproof of the one the story is about, like the implausibility of Washington throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac isn't evidence that GW didn't exist.

    So you're not making the claim god is intelligent? Just conscious?
    No, I'm pointing out that your argument that God (if He created the universe) must not be clever because the universe doesn't need much course correction is backwards. The more clever God is in His creation of the universe, the less course correction it would need.

    It doesn't explain anything other than we are born with sin. That's a totally different statement from saying that we're all sinners. So it doesn't explain anything. Jesus' role was to sacrifice himself to Himself to absolve us of the original sin. Right? So how does Adam & Eve, as a parable explain anything? It we didn't really have original sin then Jesus' purpose is moot. Right?
    Wrong. We still need saving from our sins.

    But it wasn't JUST random chance; it was cumulative random chance where things got more and more complex until life happened.
    If the universe was just the results of a random, purposeless explosion, we wouldn't expect things to get more and more complex until life happened, and then expect this life to be sustained for billions of years. We'd expect far too much chaos for life to stand much of a chance.

    I don't know how God (which you haven't proven yet you're still able to make definitive statements about his nature) is any better: you're replacing what you don't understand with something you can't prove. How is that better for anyone!?
    I'm replacing something which doesn't explain the facts, but just says we managed to get lucky somehow, with something which explains the facts.

    For the last time hopefully, you need to stop this line of argument and stick to things I have said and not your interpretation of what you wish I had said.
    Excuse me? You're the one who has repeatedly put words in my mouth, and have continued to do so even after I've asked you to stop. Honestly, I'm done with it. Talking to someone who resorts to this stuff repeatedly is a waste of time. I'm out of here.

  14. #13
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by OP
    1. Almost as a tautology, we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does.
    I am confused as to why pointing out how this is a logical fallacy, isn't enough to get you to concede the point?

    Do you understand what a logical fallacy is? Do you some how disagree that you have basically copied and pasted a logical fallacy form as your main point?


    Appeal to ignorance fallacy
    Quote Originally Posted by LINK
    If one argues that God or telepathy, ghosts, or UFO's do not exist because their existence has not been proven beyond a shadow of doubt, then this fallacy occurs.
    http://philosophy.lander.edu/scireas/ignorance.html
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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

    Again, stop putting words in my mouth. I said there's no reason to believe that God has a creator, and you're twisting it to pretend I'm saying God doesn't (or couldn't possibly) have a creator. Discussing this with you is getting pointless, considering you either are not understanding my points, or purposely twisting them to make it sound like I'm arguing something that I'm not.
    You made a clear statement that God has no creator:

    "Since there's no reason to believe that whatever force created the universe has a beginning itself, that's a pointless question. Only that which begins to exist requires a cause."

    - I didn't twist any words: you're saying that only those things that have a beginning have a cause - you're implying God has no beginning and therefore doesn't require his own creator.

    Your beliefs appear to be a big stack of turtles all the way down. All unsubstantiated, unproven and unbelievable.

    Excuse me? You're the one who has repeatedly put words in my mouth, and have continued to do so even after I've asked you to stop. Honestly, I'm done with it. Talking to someone who resorts to this stuff repeatedly is a waste of time. I'm out of here.
    It's a little unsurprising that you have chosen to end the debate prematurely given that you appear to have beliefs with no proof on your side of the argument. Which is exactly what I have been saying all along: you have zero proof and 100% personal belief in order to support your side.

    Therefore, I accept your withdrawal from the discussion and wish you all the best; perhaps it might be better to approach this in a different way in future.




    ---------- Post added at 07:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:31 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I am confused as to why pointing out how this is a logical fallacy, isn't enough to get you to concede the point?

    Do you understand what a logical fallacy is? Do you some how disagree that you have basically copied and pasted a logical fallacy form as your main point?


    Appeal to ignorance fallacy

    http://philosophy.lander.edu/scireas/ignorance.html
    What am I specifically ignorant of? I go on to expand that knowledge about God is entirely unreliable and therefore it is impossible to know anything specific about him. I explain that the claims about him are impossible in our universe (breeding with humans, etc.) and then I explain that there is little else. Therefore, if there is no proof of what he is then how can he exist?

    Note that I am not saying God doesn't exist but that there is insufficient information to describe what God is; there's nothing substantial to even begin a debate about existence. Therefore, God doesn't exist.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    I go on to expand that knowledge about God is entirely unreliable and therefore it is impossible to know anything specific about him.
    That does not logically lead to

    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    Therefore, God doesn't exist.
    Your conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.

    You are saying we don't know, thus he doesn't exist. .. there is no escaping it.


    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    Therefore, if there is no proof of what he is then how can he exist?
    As squatch pointed out, things exist just fine with or without our knowledge. (IE pluto prior to it's discovery)

    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    What am I specifically ignorant of?
    I would say, you must be ignorant of the fallacy you are committing.
    Nothing you have said shows you are not using the fallacy of appeal to ignorance.
    Maybe you are not communicating what you think you are communicating?

    Are you just trying to say that we can't have a discussion because we are ignorant?
    because that is very different than your conclusion "therefore God doesn't exist".
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That does not logically lead to


    Your conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.

    You are saying we don't know, thus he doesn't exist. .. there is no escaping it.
    Well, if you don't know what you're talking about then how can you say it exists? Take miasma, we didn't know how diseases moved around but we had a name and a theory around it. Then we found a better explanation that worked just as well.

    We don't have the same consistency with God since there are different religions with wildly differing ideas. So it's not that we don't know how to prove God but we don't really know what God is.

    As squatch pointed out, things exist just fine with or without our knowledge. (IE pluto prior to it's discovery)
    I agree but when talking about God, a very specific idea with varying details, there's no there there to exist in the first place. Unless you choose a specific religion, in which case it's begging the question.

    I would say, you must be ignorant of the fallacy you are committing.
    Nothing you have said shows you are not using the fallacy of appeal to ignorance.
    Maybe you are not communicating what you think you are communicating?
    Yea, I may not have put it as well as I could have given the confusion with KingDavid. I'm not appealing to ignorance per se because we haven't agreed as to what God is in order to argue. Not sure how else to put it.

    I guess it's like saying we believe there to be some kind of magical power that allows dead humans to come back to life but we don't know what it really is, how it works, how the body works in order to make it happen. A good retort would be to prove it and the response that it has happened many times in the past; but that's not satisfactory because we don't have enough details even if it was apparently the case someone was dead. Maybe they were just in a coma or something. So it is too early to say there's a magical power. Is that a bit clearer?



    Are you just trying to say that we can't have a discussion because we are ignorant?
    because that is very different than your conclusion "therefore God doesn't exist".
    No, I am saying you can't really talk about proof of something we don't agree about. What if the Hindu religion was correct? Then the Christian God obviously wouldn't exist and all their claims are either false or not as described.

    It's too hasty to talk about existence is my main point. It's certainly possible that the Christian formulation of God exists and that Islam is wrong but it could equally be the other way around. Or maybe the Jews are right and some rogue group of Jews became super popular but all their claims are totally wrong. Or maybe Mormonism is right. Who knows? Until you know what you are claiming created the universe it's a little much to discuss existence.

    Note I am also disputing the creation role too since it hasn't been proven that God is necessary for the universe to exist. AND it is a common claim that God doesn't have a creator either, which I think is overstepping then bounds of what we even know.

    In short: the universe doesn't need God to continue existing, it didn't need God to create it and it doesn't necessitate God to be the only creator. So there are many reasons why it is right to conclude God doesn't exist - only humans need God - the universe appears to function quite well before and after our existence. It's better to see it as a human anthropomorphic explanation in order to fill in gaps in our knowledge. Those gaps are now better filled by science.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Yes, that is partially true but it is also the case that there is unreliable information about the nature of God if you include all human contact with him.
    Ok, so given that, would it be more accurate to say your argument here is not:

    "We have unreliable information about God, therefore He does not exist."

    But rather:

    "We have unreliable information about God, therefore we do not know if He exists."

    Would that be fair?


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    I am saying several things:
    These are premises. My point was that your conclusion does not follow from your premises and thus, to have a sound argument you would need a different conclusion. IE the second argument above rather than the first.

    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    My counter to your example, as a religious person is simple: even though an elephant can't fit in the room, the elephant is endowed with powers to shrink and therefore fit.
    But of course that creature, whatever it is, wouldn't be an elephant right? Elephants, by definition, do not have powers to shrink and fit.

    Do you have an example of this type of reasoning in the argument I linked you too? Certainly it is clear that there are some bad religious arguments out there, but because some are bad is not sufficient warrant to rule out the one below.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    I think agnosticism is a valid position if there's an equal chance of both sides being true but in the case of God given the unreliable and suspicious and self serving nature of all the information around him I think we'd have to lower the bar on the quality of evidence quite a bit.
    From where do you obtain the probabilities of these options? What arguments make the non-existence of God a more probable outcome than the existence of God?


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    An agnostic position is entirely inappropriate if the claims don't pass simple muster IMHO.
    But how do you determine, objectively, what "passes muster?"


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    It depends on the claim though, so I don't think your one size fits all fallacy applies here. Firstly, buying a used car is fraught with suspicion and we do our best to verify the claims made by the salesman. And if the claims are more outlandish and against our understanding of the universe then I think it's going to be less of an ad hom than basically distrusting known liars!

    This brings to mind the story of the boy who cried wolf: yes, he could have been right that one time about that one thing he always lied about but then perhaps religious people should be toning down their claims a bit.
    You are confusing the truth value of the claim itself, with the warrant to accept testimony. Those are two radically different things. Again, returning to the example,

    My bias in telling you that 2+2=4 is irrelevant to whether it is true or not. That applies to that example, the car salesman example, and the wolf example. That the person is a known liar is completely and wholly irrelevant to whether 2+2 does, in fact, equal 4, or whether the car has a new engine, or if there is a wolf.

    What it might affect is whether or not the claim, "2+2=4 because I say it does." In that case it isn't an ad hom to point out the testimony is unreliable, rather what you are doing is pointing out that the claimant has potentially made an appeal to authority fallacy.

    But if, rather, the person is a known liar, but is saying "2+2=4, because two is defined as X, plus is defined as Y, and 4 is defined as Z, there for the relationship is true" their status as a liar is irrelevant to the argument, right? Their reliability is not a part of the argument's structure.


    Also relevant to your statement is a "guilt by association" fallacy. You are essentially condemning the claims of vastly different people over vastly different periods, with vastly different arguments with vastly different support. Clearly because Steve is a known liar is a poor reason to think that Mike is lying.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Having sex with humans, actually breeding with them, human/animal hybrids, walking on water, raising the dead, parting a river, creating the universe, etc. Are claims that should be ridiculed - they don't make sense, they're claims that are clearly made in ancient times when people were more susceptible to superstition and frankly, I think you're overusing those fallacies, which are meant to apply to a normal universe.
    Given that your arguments are part of this universe, and I am applying these fallacies to your arguments, I'm not sure how they are being "overused." I'm trying to help you create a more coherent and structured argument so that discussion in this thread doesn't devolve into simple ridicule and force me to close the thread.

    Why are those claims to be ridiculed? More importantly, what relevancy does ridicule have? This is a thread where the participants are debating a claim, not scoring points with an audience. Ridicule is about appealing to emotions, not searching for truth.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Well, first of all there is no point arguing with religious folk - they already believe for whatever real reasons they believe. There is no reasoning someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.
    Then why are you here? And why are you taking the time to write this thread? And why should anyone engage in the discussion with you if there is little chance for you to be reasoned out of a position that, by your argument, you can't possibly have reasoned yourself into?


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Thanks - I was not at all offended; I agree opinions hold less weight than a full logical treatment but in some cases we have to rely on our gut for how to use our precious energy. I mean, you wouldn't demand the same treatment for the Gods of Zeus so why the God of Christianity?
    When it comes to warrant to accept a claim, I would say that an opinion holds exactly no weight. Why would someone's subjective opinion give me warrant to accept their claims as true?

    And to answer your question, yes, I would. I would reject the Greek Pantheon because the nature of their existence (their definitional attributes) were shown to be incompatible with physical reality in 100BC when someone climbed Olympus for the first time. Likewise, I've been offered no coherent argument defending their existence, and as such am skeptical of such claims.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Firstly, I'm not trying to come off as mocking, I don't mean that much disrespect. However, I think it is fair game to ridicule and point out the silly nature of such beliefs: the reason why is that these beliefs have been and are currently used to justify terrible harm onto others.
    What do you mean by "fair game?" Do you mean appropriate for discussion? Or do you mean logically valid? The first might be true in many place, the latter never is. Ridiculing something that you find subjectively silly is completely irrelevant to making a coherent and valid argument. It is no better than saying "you think the universe simply made itself? How daft!" or "electrons can exist in two energy states at the same time, that's ridiculous" or "there is some magical, invisible force that holds us to the earth, cookoo."

    Those statements, in much the same way you engaged in above, don't actually form an argument. They are just a bare assertion with no clear reasoning. They are, once we strip away the rhetoric identical in content to "I emotionally feel that this claim is wrong" which isn't an argument, its just a detail about the speakers psychological state, no different than "I feel hungry" or "I'm tired."

    To be an argument there must be a logical connection between the conclusion "Socrates is mortal" and the premises (the points that show it to be true), "Socrates is a man and men are mortal." That is a compelling, or at least substantive argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    True, but I'd defend ridicule as a reliable first pass. If it is ridiculous for someone to sacrifice themselves to themselves then we can drill in and figure out why that is the case.
    You could, but you'd be terribly incorrect over the long run, or, at very best no better than random guessing. Remember we ridiculed heavier than air flight, continental drift, an expansionary universe, relativity, a geocentric solar system, the germ theory of disease, DNA, evolution, quantum mechanics, internal surgery, etc, etc, etc. I could literally go on for pages in that vein.

    Ridicule doesn't measure the validity of an idea, it solely measures how well that idea fits with current beliefs and fashion. But as Chesterton points out, "a fallacy does not cease being a fallacy because it becomes a fashion." When you rely on your "gut" as a first pass you are engaging in a heuristic bias that shortcuts your reasoning faculties for the sake of expediency. The problem is that it then opens up your judgement to a massive set of cognitive biases: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    It was meant as a tool to help your brain make quick decisions and avoid being eaten by predators, not to make subtle reasoning and assess argumentation.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    And it's possible that through the ridiculing of plate tectonics that they discover it's not a bad idea and that it would be possible given time.
    But it isn't, right? No amount of ridicule actually shows that it is a bad idea. It only makes people think it is a bad idea. What shows it to be a bad idea is if someone makes a coherent argument undercutting its premises or showings conclusion to be false.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    I know. These arguments keep popping up on Reddit every six months and it's always very laborious. I have yet to see an argument that isn't Occam's Razor that requires that this so-called creator is a single person, and not the many gods that other religions claim. Or how a natural explanation is impossible.
    Well I think you might be surprised if you followed that, admittedly long, thread a bit. But lets, for the sake of argument take your claim as true for a second. Doesn't then, the argument, while not showing any specific religion to be true or false, rule out atheism?

    Before you answer, we should quickly note that a natural explanation is ruled out by the argument. A natural explanation could not satisfy the aphysical, atemporal, intentional cause required by the argument, right? You could find the defense of these either by wading through posts starting with 224, or, better, read my OP Here:http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post520618

    Allow me to start with the basic outline of the argument, I will then go on to explain how this argument necessitates the conclusion, offering definitions along the way.


    The Cosmological Argument:


    P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

    P2: The universe began to exist.

    C: The universe therefore as a cause.


    Premise 1

    This is generally considered a relatively fundamental law of causation [1]. Changes in state (going from not existing to existing) require causation. We should consider that any effect that lacks a cause becomes, by definition "necessary." And self sufficient effects cannot, by definition "begin."

    In the past, some have sought to object to this premise by forwarding different aspects of Quantum Mechanics. These fail however because the causal mechanism still exists, it is the quantum wave function [2]. The confusion often arises because we confuse a probabilistic cause for no cause at all. If there was a random number generator that killed a cat on odd numbers, we wouldn't say that the cat's death was uncaused.



    Premise 2

    This premise also is generally scientifically accepted. Inflationary cosmology dictates that the universe began from a near singularity[3]. I think it is important here to point out that time is a physical dimension of our universe, just like the other dimensions[4]. Just as they expanded from a singularity, so did the temporal dimension of our universe. This necessitates a beginning of the universe when the temporal dimension was a singularity as well.

    Objections to this premise are usually in the form of alternative hypotheses about our current universe. Historically, the steady state universe was used. That is to say, it was argued until recently that the universe is eternal, that it had always been. This is problematic for several reasons. Primary amongst them is the evidence indicating the universe is expanding. It is for this reason that virtually no cosmologist holds to steady state theory today. The historic objection also still holds. If the universe was eternal, we would expect that all the stars and galaxies to have burned out by now. If there is an infinite past, an infinite amount of time would already have occurred, which is far greater than the possible time limit on all the fission of all the matter in the universe.

    The first modification of this theory to deal with the expansion of the universe came with the cyclic model. In which the universe expands, collapses and expands again. This theory however fails because it also cannot recede into the infinite past. Entropy between cycles would build up causing later cycles to be high entropy states and prohibit matter and star formation[5]. Again, if the universe were infinitely old, this would have already occurred and we could not observe star formation now.

    Finally, the most modern objection arises from an appeal to a multiverse or multiple universes. This objection also fails for two reasons. One, since it produces a temporal effect, the multiverse itself would need a temporal component (non intentful causes cannot act outside of a dimension they exist in), making it open to the same appeals to an infinite past that we have above. Two, a multi-verse hypothesis would need to be reconciled to the Borde-Vilinken-Guth Theorem [6] which prohibits low entropy, expanding universes (ie the kind we live in) from any multiverse. To date, no reconciliation has been put forward, with Stephen Hawking noting that this is the single greatest objection to his views.

    Characteristics
    It naturally follows from the premises that the universe therefore had a cause.

    But we can go a little bit further than that. Given the established premises and conclusions and some other observed facts, we can reason out a few of the properties of this cause.

    1) Omnipotence. This word is often used in a differing manner than how theists intend it. It does not mean, for example, the ability to do anything such as creating a round square. Rather, when used here it refers to the ability to actualize states of affairs. I will borrow William Lane Craig’s definition here:
    Rather we should think of omnipotence in terms of the ability to actualize states of affairs. A state of affairs is just a way something might be – for example, the state of affairs of there being chairs in this room, or the state of affairs of our being in the lower story of the church building, or there being a piano here. Those are all states of affairs that actually obtain. Omnipotence should be understood in terms of the ability to actualize states of affairs. To be omnipotent means the ability to bring about any state of affairs which is logically possible for any one in that situation to bring about.
    [7]
    This ability is a natural conclusion to the CA as I have presented it. In order for a cause to be sufficient to cause the universe, it must be able to actualize states of affairs related to all the specifics of our universe. It must be able to affect physical laws, physical constants, and dimensionless constants. This ability fits the definition proposed above as omnipotent.

    2) Aphysical and atemporal. Both of these terms mean that the item in question lacks physical and temporal characteristics. Given that both time and space are properties of this universe and that an effect cannot be its own cause (a logical paradox), we see that the cause defined in our conclusion cannot exhibit properties of its own effect. Given that it must be transcendent of this universe (ie it cannot be bound to this universe otherwise it couldn’t exist to elicit the effect) it cannot be limited by the dimensions of this universe.
    3) Intentfulness. This conclusion arises from the observed temporal finiteness of the universe. We know that the cause cannot be a mechanistic cause (IE if the cause exists the effect exists) because we can describe a state of affairs where the cause exists, but the effect does not. This is really a long winded method of saying “the universe began.”
    Likewise, we can say that the cause is not a probabilistic cause either. Probabilistic causes require a dimension to act along. IE along a temporal dimension (chance over time) or a physical one (chance over distance). However, all probabilistic causes must act along the dimensions that they elicit effects within. IE, a quantum wave function acts along a temporal and physical dimension to create an effect in both (a particle’s location). You cannot have a quantum wave function (or any other probability function) that only discusses time, but produces a physical effect.
    Given now that we’ve ruled out those two methods of causation we are only left with intent. Only a cause that has an intent can demonstrate the attributes labeled above. Only an intentful cause can create information that is not found within itself. IE all causes except intentful ones have temporal information within them if they act temporally, physical information within them if they act physically, etc. Only intentful causes exhibit the kind of causation we observe given the CA.

    Conclusion
    So we can see that given the premises that the universe must itself have a cause and that this cause must be aphysical and atemporal since it cannot be part of its own creation, that it must be omnipotent in order to create that creation and that it must be intentful in order to explain the finiteness of the universe and its dimensionality.

    Given the premises, which are supported, no other conclusion can be accepted.



    Now for a miscellaneous definition:
    Logical necessity: I don’t mean this term to imply philosophic necessity in that I argue that no other belief is possible, but rather rational necessity in which I hold that no other conclusion is rational.



    Support
    1) http://www.philosophy-dictionary.org/Cause
    2) http://home.tiscali.nl/physis/Histor...inger1926c.pdf
    3) http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/W..._contents.html
    4) http://mathworld.wolfram.com/MinkowskiSpace.html
    5) I. D. Novikov and Ya. B. Zel’dovich (1973) Physical Processes Near Cosmological Singularities Annu. Rev. Astro. Astrophys. 11 387-412
    S. W. Hawking and R. Penrose (1970) The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences 314. 1519. 529-548.
    6) Arvind Borde, Alan H. Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin (2003) Inflationary Spacetimes are Incomplete in Past Directions Physical Review Letters 90. 15 http://arxiv.org/pdf/grqc/0110012.pdf
    7) http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defen...anscript/s3-17


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Besides, the idea of God hasn't even passed muster to begin with - it's pointless trying to prove the existence of something that can't possibly exist!
    Do you have an argument to that effect though? Something that would demonstrate why God cannot possibly exist?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  20. #18
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    Well, if you don't know what you're talking about then how can you say it exists?
    Well, you are the one claiming it doesn't exist. So No shifting the burden please.
    Second, your actually the one saying that you don't know what it is. So How can you say it doesn't exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    We don't have the same consistency with God since there are different religions with wildly differing ideas. So it's not that we don't know how to prove God but we don't really know what God is.
    So your argument is thus far self refuting.

    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    I agree but when talking about God, a very specific idea with varying details, there's no there there to exist in the first place. Unless you choose a specific religion, in which case it's begging the question.
    Re-above.
    Further, it is not true that people have failed to put forward a coherent idea of God to discuss. So there exists at least some possible God in some possible world. (ask if you need explanation as to what I am referring to when I say "Possible world". )

    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    Yea, I may not have put it as well as I could have given the confusion with KingDavid. I'm not appealing to ignorance per se because we haven't agreed as to what God is in order to argue. Not sure how else to put it.

    I guess it's like saying we believe there to be some kind of magical power that allows dead humans to come back to life but we don't know what it really is, how it works, how the body works in order to make it happen. A good retort would be to prove it and the response that it has happened many times in the past; but that's not satisfactory because we don't have enough details even if it was apparently the case someone was dead. Maybe they were just in a coma or something. So it is too early to say there's a magical power. Is that a bit clearer?
    A bit, but I think it is a straw-man.

    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    No, I am saying you can't really talk about proof of something we don't agree about. What if the Hindu religion was correct? Then the Christian God obviously wouldn't exist and all their claims are either false or not as described.

    It's too hasty to talk about existence is my main point. It's certainly possible that the Christian formulation of God exists and that Islam is wrong but it could equally be the other way around. Or maybe the Jews are right and some rogue group of Jews became super popular but all their claims are totally wrong. Or maybe Mormonism is right. Who knows? Until you know what you are claiming created the universe it's a little much to discuss existence.
    I'm sorry to say that is a bit silly.
    First of all, they are not all the same claim. For example one religion(or several) may make a claim to a personal God, while the Hindus may claim to an impersonal force.
    Those are separate claims, not self refuting ones. Your basically saying that because we have many theories about God then we don't have any clue what God is in the first place, or worse that we can't discuss any of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by SAD
    In short: the universe doesn't need God to continue existing, it didn't need God to create it and it doesn't necessitate God to be the only creator. So there are many reasons why it is right to conclude God doesn't exist - only humans need God - the universe appears to function quite well before and after our existence. It's better to see it as a human anthropomorphic explanation in order to fill in gaps in our knowledge. Those gaps are now better filled by science.
    that is a bunch of claims without support in this thread.

    --------------
    I would rather focus on refuting the idea that there is no generally accepted definition of God.
    God is "that than which a greater can not be conceived". All religions fallow this, and are often times simply a reflection of the limited imagination of the people.
    For example, the famous discussion between Conan the barbarian, and the theif/archer guy. One argued that the mountains were the greatest, the other the sky.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  21. #19

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, you are the one claiming it doesn't exist. So No shifting the burden please.
    Second, your actually the one saying that you don't know what it is. So How can you say it doesn't exist?
    That's my point! I as a non-believer do not know who can be trusted. There is no consensus as to what this God is. So I have to conclude that it is a product of human imagination and doesn't exist as an entity whose physical existence can be determined.

    I ask only out of politeness as to how you justify your beliefs in light of the same universe we live in: one where the most intelligent of species used to anthropomorphize their explanations of the universe.

    So your argument is thus far self refuting.
    I'm starting from first principles and an open mind. I haven't made any argument yet - just laying down the scenery.

    Re-above.
    Further, it is not true that people have failed to put forward a coherent idea of God to discuss. So there exists at least some possible God in some possible world. (ask if you need explanation as to what I am referring to when I say "Possible world". )
    Sure, if you want to speculate about other universes where something like what you say is true, I agree that it is possible. But let's stick to this universe that we know about rather than inventing even more things to justify the first invention. That's what got KingDavid into trouble - before we could even agree on God, he already began to make speculations as to God's nature.

    A bit, but I think it is a straw-man.
    How?

    I'm sorry to say that is a bit silly.
    First of all, they are not all the same claim. For example one religion(or several) may make a claim to a personal God, while the Hindus may claim to an impersonal force.
    Those are separate claims, not self refuting ones. Your basically saying that because we have many theories about God then we don't have any clue what God is in the first place, or worse that we can't discuss any of them.
    So God is both personal and impersonal!? Excluded middle much? Also, I'm not saying they are SELF-refuting. I am saying they contradict each other. If everyone has different claims and totally their own stories and mythologies then there really can't be anything real behind it: we know because people make things up all the time.

    I'm not saying they can't be discussed - of course the merits of each vision of God should be discussed but as far as drawing conclusions about who is right - I think there's no answer to that question. Hence, no God: he's just an idea that made sense at the time.

    that is a bunch of claims without support in this thread.
    It's kinda self-evidence but here's some support:

    the universe doesn't need God to continue existing :- well, show me a physics theory that requires some sort of conscious creator then?

    it didn't need God to create it: again, show me proof that the beginnings of the universe REQUIRES a God?

    it doesn't necessitate God to be the only creator: I think the polytheistic religions might have something to say about the one true god idea!

    So there are many reasons why it is right to conclude God doesn't exist: if we don't need it, never needed it, and other people have ideas, I think its fair to say its speculation of the highest order and can be summarily dismissed until further proof is given.

    - only humans need God - the universe appears to function quite well before and after our existence: again true - people were fine before religion and we atheists are fine too, without God.

    It's better to see it as a human anthropomorphic explanation in order to fill in gaps in our knowledge: this again is backed by fact - people didn't know about lightening so they created zeus.

    Those gaps are now better filled by science: I think you agree that electricity is a better explanation for lightening than Zeus, right?




    --------------
    I would rather focus on refuting the idea that there is no generally accepted definition of God.
    God is "that than which a greater can not be conceived". All religions fallow this, and are often times simply a reflection of the limited imagination of the people.
    For example, the famous discussion between Conan the barbarian, and the theif/archer guy. One argued that the mountains were the greatest, the other the sky.
    huh? I don't even know what that means! Let's stick with the claim he created the universe. This sounds like one of those weird logic traps that go nowhere. At least we know the universe exists - you'd have to define greater and conceived before we can start with this track. Perhaps another day on that if you don't mind.

    I mean I agree with you that God is imaginary but I don't know how imagining something greater helps in the case of an atheist!

    ---------- Post added at 02:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:37 PM ----------

    Ok, so given that, would it be more accurate to say your argument here is not:

    "We have unreliable information about God, therefore He does not exist."

    But rather:

    "We have unreliable information about God, therefore we do not know if He exists."

    Would that be fair?
    Well, it's a bit hard so say something exists if you don't know what it is! I think the first form is a more accurate rendering of what I'm saying. I can't prove God doesn't exist but I can prove that there isn't enough information to even begin the discussion of whether he exists or not.

    But of course that creature, whatever it is, wouldn't be an elephant right? Elephants, by definition, do not have powers to shrink and fit.

    Do you have an example of this type of reasoning in the argument I linked you too? Certainly it is clear that there are some bad religious arguments out there, but because some are bad is not sufficient warrant to rule out the one below.
    I don't know what constitutes a bad religious argument - there is no objective measure as to what makes sense and what doesn't. We know for certain that religious people assume that physics can be broken, biological rules thwarted, and even the singular nature of God can be presumed; we know that he can visit the Earth, have sex with humans, breed with them and convince them that they will be forever in agony, despite not having a physical body! All of this makes no sense from what we know about the universe. So the elephant can have whatever powers we want from a religious perspective.

    What you're doing, in saying that by definition, elephants do not have powers to shrink and fit, misses a couple of important points: one is that there are other kinds of elephants - dwarf elephants or baby elephants or toy elephants that would clearly fit. But what you're doing is being an atheist and making the rule that we must stick to this universe in describing what the elephant can do. By the same token, as an atheist, I should be able to reject God as similarly impossible and non-existent because of all the faulty claims made of him.


    From where do you obtain the probabilities of these options? What arguments make the non-existence of God a more probable outcome than the existence of God?
    Well, as I said, the universe provides boundaries as to what can exist. Just like you're doing in denying the shrinking elephant, I can deny your God for having similarly impossible claims made of him.


    You are confusing the truth value of the claim itself, with the warrant to accept testimony. Those are two radically different things. Again, returning to the example,
    ...
    Also relevant to your statement is a "guilt by association" fallacy. You are essentially condemning the claims of vastly different people over vastly different periods, with vastly different arguments with vastly different support. Clearly because Steve is a known liar is a poor reason to think that Mike is lying.
    Well, if the testimony is unreliable then the truth value is irrelevant. It can be reliable if the person is unreliable and although that is an ad-hom, I think there are plenty of examples to be extremely suspicious of religious claims. Secondly, if the claims make no sense, i.e. against our understanding of the universe, then that is another reason to dismiss the claim. I think they come hand-in-hand.

    You're using a loaded example where something is by definition true to counter an example where the truth value is not only unknown, but it is in dispute and contradicted by others; the claims are against known science, which we all agree is true and are often linked with pronouncements as to what we should do with our private parts.

    So while some people prefer to educate homosexuality out of people, others want to burn them; some choose to pray over their sick children, others choose medicine, yet others choose only certain kinds of medicine. All are linked to some unfounded belief that some deity exists that looks after us and our family so long as we send in another paycheck.

    I reject your entire line of reasoning because we should be focusing on where my argument is true, and not where it is irrelevant.

    Given that your arguments are part of this universe, and I am applying these fallacies to your arguments, I'm not sure how they are being "overused." I'm trying to help you create a more coherent and structured argument so that discussion in this thread doesn't devolve into simple ridicule and force me to close the thread.

    Why are those claims to be ridiculed? More importantly, what relevancy does ridicule have? This is a thread where the participants are debating a claim, not scoring points with an audience. Ridicule is about appealing to emotions, not searching for truth.
    I get your point - I'll refrain from ridicule but will continue to point out contradictions and fanciful thinking where it applies. I trust that you will use your judgement and not stifle valid criticism.

    Then why are you here? And why are you taking the time to write this thread? And why should anyone engage in the discussion with you if there is little chance for you to be reasoned out of a position that, by your argument, you can't possibly have reasoned yourself into?
    I think I have provided many reasons, all as yet undefeated.


    When it comes to warrant to accept a claim, I would say that an opinion holds exactly no weight. Why would someone's subjective opinion give me warrant to accept their claims as true?
    Agreed! Hence all religious arguments can be rejected because they contradict other religions and no one has provided proof as to who is right.

    And to answer your question, yes, I would. I would reject the Greek Pantheon because the nature of their existence (their definitional attributes) were shown to be incompatible with physical reality in 100BC when someone climbed Olympus for the first time. Likewise, I've been offered no coherent argument defending their existence, and as such am skeptical of such claims.
    Huh? How is 100BC's physical reality any different from any other time? And I too haven't seen a coherent argument defending the existence of God either. So are we at an impasse?


    To be an argument there must be a logical connection between the conclusion "Socrates is mortal" and the premises (the points that show it to be true), "Socrates is a man and men are mortal." That is a compelling, or at least substantive argument.
    Then the argument is simply that there is no reliable information we can conclude about God and therefore is likely imaginary than real. His existence is irrelevant and as useful as discussing the existence of Poirot.

    A natural explanation could not satisfy the aphysical, atemporal, intentional cause required by the argument, right? You could find the defense of these either by wading through posts starting with 224, or, better, read my OP
    So now you introduce even more imaginary terms and ideas before we can even begin arguing! If you think that God only exists if he cannot be detected then we're already off on the wrong foot and into another argument! I stated in my OP that in this universe that we know, God doesn't exist -- you can speculate as much as you like as to what lays beyond or before the universe with however many deities you wish but it is all entirely irrelevant and totally subjective and imaginary and totally without any warrant.

    If you want to define God as some imaginary being then I'm not into that kind of debate: you can pull out all the magical tricks you want to make it seem convincing and logical. It's already been tried: KingDavid claims there he has no reason to believe there is more than one God, MindTrap claims that God is the greatest thing that can be imagined; and you're claiming a bunch of attributes that you're plucking out of who knows where!

    Let's not bring in more terms than we need and not until we need them. It is unnecessary to go beyond this physical universe because we already have claims made about God in this universe - namely flooding the entire Earth, creating all animals separately, impregnating a human woman, raising the dead and so on. There's no need to speculate further than what we can see. Agreed?


    Do you have an argument to that effect though? Something that would demonstrate why God cannot possibly exist?
    Yes: please define God in a way that every religious priest would agree in terms that are consistent with this physical universe! That's not passing the buck - it's giving you a question, we both know is impossible to answer.
    Last edited by SadElephant; May 16th, 2016 at 03:19 PM.

  22. #20
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Elephant,

    In short, your argument is based on the argument from ignorance fallacy.

    Lack of evidence that something is true is not evidence that it's false. If people make faulty claims for God then what they have is basically nothing and you can certainly say that you don't find their claims to be credible. But that is not evidence that the opposite of what they believe is true is actually true.

    If no one provides valid evidence that X is true and no one provides evidence that X is false, then the answer is "I don't know if X is true or false". So based on evidence alone, one should be agnostic, not atheist.

  23. Thanks MindTrap028, Squatch347 thanked for this post
 

 
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