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Old Yesterday, 12:44 PM   #1801
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GStan: Thank you! That was single, focused point in that post. Obvious, but necessary to spell out at that juncture.

----

Now, why I believe god "deserves" this greater precision, and the effort that that entails : that'll take more words than I can manage now, and I'll get to that when I return, and get my hands on my computer again.
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Old Yesterday, 12:49 PM   #1802
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Nonpareil: Wait. That dragon, as I recall, has been said to be not detectable.
Then you haven't been paying attention.

Garage dragons are entities that are defined as undetectable. The name "garage dragon" comes from Sagan's "The Dragon In My Garage", in which the undetectable entity is supposedly a dragon.

Quote:
"A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage."

Suppose (I'm following a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard Franklin) I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

"Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle -- but no dragon.

"Where's the dragon?" you ask.

"Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."

You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.

"Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."

Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

"Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."

You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

"Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick." And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work.

Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists?
Bolding mine.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
It seems, then, that when we say it is undetectable, it is only currently undetectable.
No. Garage dragons are defined as undetectable. Not "currently beyond our abilities", not "very hard to see". Undetectable. That is the entire point.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
So no, undetectable does not seem to translate to non-existent, does it?
Yes. It does.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
How does it impact the universe? Well, I'd say we don't know! Not "no impact", but "dont know"
And what you would say is wrong.

If something is undetectable, it has no effect on the universe.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Given that, if I say the dragon is not traveling with me in my car, why is this claim exempt from the burden of proof?
It isn't. It simply meets it, because garage dragons are defined as non-existent.
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Old Yesterday, 12:52 PM   #1803
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post

Given that, if I say the dragon is not traveling with me in my car, why is this claim exempt from the burden of proof?
Because some things are too outlandish to require any burden of proof to claim non-existence. "So unlikely as to be virtually certain to not exist."

All claims of deities thus far fall into this category, along with invisible dragons, gnomes, vampires, werewolves, Sasquatch, etc and so on.
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Old Yesterday, 12:59 PM   #1804
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
All gods humans talk of are created by humans, therefore there is no creator god, which caused the universe.
The conclusion doesn't follow from the premise.
Not when you conveniently leave out half the sentence.

All gods humans talk of are created by humans, humans talk of a creator god, therefore the creator god which caused the universe is also created by humans (aka fiction).

Where else is your creator god coming from?

You cannot get around it.
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Old Yesterday, 01:44 PM   #1805
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"But invisible garage dragons are ridiculous!"

So close to the point and yet so far.
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Old Yesterday, 02:05 PM   #1806
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Not when you conveniently leave out half the sentence.

All gods humans talk of are created by humans, humans talk of a creator god, therefore the creator god which caused the universe is also created by humans (aka fiction).

Where else is your creator god coming from?

You cannot get around it.
You don't get it. The universe caused you. You don't cause the universe. All our talk of a god or no god can't in neither case cause there to be a god nor cause there to be no god.
So if there is a natural universe(assumption) or a god-caused universe(assumption), we are caused in both to talk as if our beliefs in the one or the other decide anything. No belief in either god or no god decides anything.
You believe that our talking decides it. It doesn't. It is out of our control and all your reasoning can't decide that any way. That is true both for the atheist and theist. You either don't believe or do.
You don't get causation. You don't get that your reasoning doesn't decide anything. Nor does the reasoning of theists.

So I don't believe in gods. It only tells you that I don't believe in gods. And all your magical reasoning solves nothing, because it can't be solved by reasoning.
Your reasoning doesn't not cause there to be no god of a outside the universe creator god type. That is unknown. I am a skeptic and your are a woo-rationalist, because you think reason can solve it. You believe in woo. I honest, I don't know either way, but as per belief I am an atheist.

There is a limit to reason and you have hit it. And all your words solve nothing, because they don't cause there to be a natural universe. That is not how causation works. You believe in woo.

Now you are not alone. A lot of people believe in woo and something it gives them a better life, because it reassure them all will be well. In your case you get to believe that you know, really know and that brings you comfort, because you got it right! You know that there are no gods. You don't.

If you want to use reason, it has a limit, just like human mobility and the universe doesn't care, that you don't have unlimited reasoning powers. Just as the universe doesn't care for the reasoning power of theists. That is why it is called beliefs. And neither belief decides anything. Welcome to being a skeptic. Take your pick, because reason won't help you on that one.
That you care, is an emergent property of biology within the assumption of a natural universe and so is the beliefs of theists. They care to, just differently.

You are neither right nor wrong. You are just an atheist, who reasons differently than this atheist. Right or wrong for what the universe is, is unknown and your belief system works for you. It doesn't work for me, I do it differently. And you are only right or wring if you believe in that. I don't. I believe in skepticism and that right and wrong are human beliefs systems, that you don't have to believe just like gods.
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Old Yesterday, 02:14 PM   #1807
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
So if there is a natural universe(assumption)
Conclusion.

Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
And all your magical reasoning solves nothing, because it can't be solved by reasoning.
Yes, it can. If something is true, it by necessity must be capable of being shown to be true.

Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Your reasoning doesn't not cause there to be no god of a outside the universe creator god type. That is unknown.
If there is a god like that, then it must be detectable. If it is detectable, there must be evidence of its existence.

Until and unless you want to start providing that evidence, trying to claim that it might exist carries no more weight than you claiming that Santa Claus might.
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Old Yesterday, 03:18 PM   #1808
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I seem to sense that an Invisible Pink Unicorn has been in my basemnet
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Old Yesterday, 04:15 PM   #1809
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
You don't get it. The universe caused you. You don't cause the universe. All our talk of a god or no god can't in neither case cause there to be a god nor cause there to be no god.


Tommy, it is you that doesn't get it. You and other humans (because you aren't the first) conceived of your creator god. You made it up. It's fiction!

Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
You believe that our talking decides it. It doesn't. It is out of our control and all your reasoning can't decide that any way. That is true both for the atheist and theist. You either don't believe or do.
You don't get causation. You don't get that your reasoning doesn't decide anything. Nor does the reasoning of theists.
In pondering the beginning of the Universe, people made up a fictional explanation.

We know this because there is overwhelming evidence ALL gods are human generated fiction and no evidence of any real gods.

You can go on and on, around and around, in the end there is still there is overwhelming evidence ALL gods are human generated fiction and no evidence of any real gods.

No decisions were made, rather, evidence based conclusions were drawn.
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Old Yesterday, 04:18 PM   #1810
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
I seem to sense that an Invisible Pink Unicorn has been in my basemnet
Invisible dragons and unicorns fly around until they get stuck in basements and garages.
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Old Yesterday, 06:56 PM   #1811
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Randomness just covers the gaps in our knowledge (just like the God of the gaps did).
How do you know? It may be that as you say randomness just covers the gaps in our knowledge, or it may be that reality really has a probabilistic aspect to it.

Quote:
Are you saying that the Schrodenger equation (an equation about randomness) could be replaced by a "many worlds" equation that doesn't include randomness?
No, I'm saying that Many Worlds is just the straightforward reading of the Schrodinger equation. The randomness in QM comes in when we make a measurement, but the Schrodinger equation evolves deterministically, and Many Worlds just takes that seriously.

There is no "making a measurement" in the Schrodinger equation, so different interpretations treat that differently, but in Many Worlds it's actually just the fact that you have to include the observer in the system being modelled.

In Copenhagen an electron in superposition might be 50% up and 50% down, and when you measure it, if it turns out to be up, then it's up and there's no sense in which it's down, and so there's really just a random chance that it will be one or the other. In Many Worlds it was both before the measurement and it's still both after the measurement, but you are entangled with the electron, and so now you are in a superposition of seeing an electron spinning up and seeing an electron spinning down. There's no randomness there. This is actually how the equation behaves (think instead of "you" doing a measurement of an electron interacting with another electron and becoming entangled with it, now we have a superposition of, for instance UD, DU, the world in which the first electron is down includes a second electron which is up). There's no randomness there, just the deterministic evolution of the equation over time, but there is an appearance of randomness because we can only ever experience one branch of the wave function.
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Old Yesterday, 08:49 PM   #1812
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
The god we are talking about is claimed to cause effects in this universe and is thus falsifiable in this universe.
The conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the premise. It doesn't rule out a God can choose to be unobservable (except to a select few).

Yes, you could also ascribe that property to the invisible dragon or Russell's teapot (assuming that they had the intelligence to do so) but an invisible God was said to exist long before science was anything but a branch of witchcraft. Such a God is beyond scientific testing and thus science can say nothing about gods.

It is up to the philosophers (masquerading as scientists in this forum) to try and make any sense out of this.
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Old Yesterday, 09:01 PM   #1813
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
How do you know? It may be that as you say randomness just covers the gaps in our knowledge, or it may be that reality really has a probabilistic aspect to it.
Maybe I should have used the expression "current gaps in our knowledge" though I would have thought that the sentence that you clipped would have made that clear: "I don't know if we will ever come up with a model that eliminates randomness thus it may never be determined if randomness exists in its own right."

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
No, I'm saying that Many Worlds is just the straightforward reading of the Schrodinger equation. The randomness in QM comes in when we make a measurement, but the Schrodinger equation evolves deterministically, and Many Worlds just takes that seriously.

There is no "making a measurement" in the Schrodinger equation, so different interpretations treat that differently, but in Many Worlds it's actually just the fact that you have to include the observer in the system being modelled.

In Copenhagen an electron in superposition might be 50% up and 50% down, and when you measure it, if it turns out to be up, then it's up and there's no sense in which it's down, and so there's really just a random chance that it will be one or the other. In Many Worlds it was both before the measurement and it's still both after the measurement, but you are entangled with the electron, and so now you are in a superposition of seeing an electron spinning up and seeing an electron spinning down. There's no randomness there. This is actually how the equation behaves (think instead of "you" doing a measurement of an electron interacting with another electron and becoming entangled with it, now we have a superposition of, for instance UD, DU, the world in which the first electron is down includes a second electron which is up). There's no randomness there, just the deterministic evolution of the equation over time, but there is an appearance of randomness because we can only ever experience one branch of the wave function.
The tl;dr version might be that we simultaneously exist in many universes but we can only observe one universe at any instant. An how do we know which universe we will observe when we do a measurement? Well we could use a probabilistic equation . . .
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Old Yesterday, 09:32 PM   #1814
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the premise. It doesn't rule out a God can choose to be unobservable (except to a select few).
In which case either these select few can scientifically verify the god's presence in such a way as to satisfy others or there is no difference between that god and a figment of their imagination.

Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
but an invisible God was said to exist long before science was anything but a branch of witchcraft.
No one cares how long the idea of gods has been around. It is utterly irrelevant to the discussion.
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Old Yesterday, 11:07 PM   #1815
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the premise. It doesn't rule out a God can choose to be unobservable (except to a select few).
Argumentum ad Emperor's-New-Clothes.

Garage Dragons can only be observed by Garage Dragon believers (a select few).

Pathetic arguments highlight pathetic claims/beliefs.
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Old Yesterday, 11:18 PM   #1816
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* sigh * The point was not that there is actually an invisible god but that JayUtah was pretending to make a scientific argument.
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Old Yesterday, 11:30 PM   #1817
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the premise. It doesn't rule out a God can choose to be unobservable (except to a select few)
Once you're talking about a god that chooses to hide from science as well as most people most of the time, you've entered the realm of the preposterous.

Like, we're in this world, now:
http://weekinweird.com/2016/12/08/bi...s-green-flash/

A god that chooses to be unobservable is unfalsifiable. The conclusion did follow from the premise.
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Old Yesterday, 11:31 PM   #1818
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
* sigh * The point was not that there is actually an invisible god but that JayUtah was pretending to make a scientific argument.
His argument was logical.
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Old Today, 12:27 AM   #1819
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Here’s the way I see the problem. Humans created God eons before the scientific method was conceived of. They both came from the same instinct -to understand the world around us. But since God was there first and some idea of it has existed since the dawn of man, it’s a particular tenacious idea. To this day, humans can’t let go of this idea.

Now, science has answered most of the questions that God used to answer. Everywhere science has found answers, those answers have replaced the mysterious actions of God. As Hawking said, there really isn’t any room for God to exist. All of scientific inquiry has shown that every fundamental question we have found answers to has been answered by “not God.”

What we are left with is arguments for God that amount to mental masturbation in satisfaction of a useless urge. I think that urge is some kind of cultural/social remnant, lore passed down and ever changing since the dawn of man. It’s very satisfying lore. It tells us that we are special, that there is more to life and existence. It helps us deal with the problems of evil, of suffering. Most importantly, it helps us deal with death. It’s extremely unsatisfying to know that when we die, that’s it. It’s much more hopeful to think that there’s something beyond where we will see our loved ones or experience some reward.

But that’s all it is. Stories to make us feel better. To give us hope. All the stories can’t be right, though.


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Old Today, 12:51 AM   #1820
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
A god that chooses to be unobservable is unfalsifiable. The conclusion did follow from the premise.
That is a common logical error - mixing a conditional statement with its converse.

Observable god ==> falsifiable god (assuming JayUtah is correct)
Unobservable god =/=> unfalsifiable god.
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Old Today, 12:57 AM   #1821
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Now, science has answered most of the questions that God used to answer. Everywhere science has found answers, those answers have replaced the mysterious actions of God. As Hawking said, there really isn’t any room for God to exist.
You are overestimating current scientific achievements. We have had to use probability equations to fill in the gaps in our knowledge. We have effectively replaced God with "randomness".

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
All of scientific inquiry has shown that every fundamental question we have found answers to has been answered by “not God.”
We have come up with workable hypotheses that don't require a god to deal with fundamental questions. That is not quite the same as finding "answers".
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Old Today, 03:21 AM   #1822
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the premise. It doesn't rule out a God can choose to be unobservable (except to a select few).

Yes, you could also ascribe that property to the invisible dragon or Russell's teapot (assuming that they had the intelligence to do so) but an invisible God was said to exist long before science was anything but a branch of witchcraft. Such a God is beyond scientific testing and thus science can say nothing about gods.

It is up to the philosophers (masquerading as scientists in this forum) to try and make any sense out of this.
Or to all as God is unobservable. There is at least one version of God, where God is unobservable. No effect of prayers, no miracles and no access through divine guidance.
You only know God in an indirect manner by looking at the universe and using reason, a form of deism.
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Old Today, 03:53 AM   #1823
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Or to all as God is unobservable. There is at least one version of God, where God is unobservable. No effect of prayers, no miracles and no access through divine guidance.
You only know God in an indirect manner by looking at the universe and using reason, a form of deism.
Is this another definition from your dictionary of the olden days?
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Old Today, 03:57 AM   #1824
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the premise. It doesn't rule out a God can choose to be unobservable (except to a select few).

...snip...
Which god is that one?
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Old Today, 04:05 AM   #1825
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Is this another definition from your dictionary of the olden days?
No, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Deism#ref281216

E.g. I am a functional deist, because I ascribe a human quality, fairness, to the universe and believe with faith that the universe is fair in that we are not in the Matrix and so on.

So not all beliefs in gods are theistic and while the majority of beliefs in gods are theistic, not all are.
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Old Today, 04:31 AM   #1826
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which god is that one?
AFAIK they are all ascribed that property so you choose.
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Old Today, 05:13 AM   #1827
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Unobservable god =/=> unfalsifiable god.
How does one falsify the unobservable?
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Old Today, 05:18 AM   #1828
Darat
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
AFAIK they are all ascribed that property so you choose.
Then your AFAIK is wanting, according to the RCC and all major Christian denominations their god is visible in the world for everyone as is the god of all the major Islamic denominations. Those two religions alone account for the god that over 2 billion people claim to believe in.

Can you give an example of an actual god that any significant number of people claim exists that has the definition you used?
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Old Today, 05:22 AM   #1829
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
How does one falsify the unobservable?
This is the point!
Falsifiable just means through observation. I don't know any other way to refute. Contradiction excepted.

psionl0's #1820 has no sense.

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Old Today, 05:34 AM   #1830
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Falsifiable just means through observation.
Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
How does one falsify the unobservable?
It is not by using faulty logic.

JayUtah said that since God is supposed to be observable he is falsifiable. You reversed the logic.
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Old Today, 05:36 AM   #1831
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Then your AFAIK is wanting, according to the RCC and all major Christian denominations their god is visible in the world for everyone as is the god of all the major Islamic denominations.
That's news to me.
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Old Today, 05:37 AM   #1832
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Find a post where I did.

I wasn’t speaking about you personally, but about the position of the hard atheist.

I’ve already very clearly said this in that post which you’ve part-quoted:
Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
So, to re-visit your question, “Why any need to prove the negative?” The glaringly obvious answer is, “Because you have made that claim”. (Not you personally, I’m speaking of the hard atheist’s negative claim.)

Any effing thing you claim, you need to back up. If you can’t back it up, or if you won’t back it up, then you mustn’t make the claim in the first place, not if you care about being reasonable. That is why the soft atheist does not make this claim, that he does not care to back up.
(The bold font and the highlighting I've added in now, for emphasis.)


Quote:
Why are you jumping through all sorts of contortions

I am aiming for precision in how I formulate and express my views on this.


Quote:
to make a gap for a possible god?

No, that is not my intention. The intention is precision, that’s all.

That precision may end up making way for some possibility for some forms of god ideas. (Or else it may not. Whether it might, that is what we're trying to ascertain here.) But like I said, to aim specifically for this effect, that is certainly not my intention!


Quote:
Does it bother you to make the statement, all gods are human generated fiction?

In as much as that is not necessarily true, when focused on with precision, then yes, yes it does bother me.

On the other hand, it would bother me just as much to make the statement that God is true, in the absence of evidence for that claim.

I wouldn’t claim someone is guilty of a crime if I were not sure of it. It would bother me to say that if I weren’t sure. Nor would I claim someone is innocent unless I were myself sure of this; and if I were not sure, then to claim someone’s innocence, that would bother me too. Although absolutely, I could well recognize and well say that there were no clinching evidence against them, and that they were “(to be considered) not guilty”.

(And all of this whole guilty-innocent-not-guilty hairsplitting would apply, so far as I am concerned, if and only if that particular person and that particular case were of enough importance and/or interest to me to warrant that kind of precision. Not otherwise)


Quote:
Just add 'the evidence is overwhelming' to the sentence.

I realize you’re trying to help me here, per your own lights, and thank you for that.

As I see it, absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.

(And yes, evidence of absence is indeed a thing. One can indeed prove negatives in certain cases. This doesn’t seem to be one of them. In some specific instances within the broad category, yes, but not in general for the entire category.)


Quote:
The evidence is overwhelming that all gods are human generated fiction.

Do you or do you not agree with that sentence?

Change "all gods" to "most gods", and I'd agree.

Or restrict your definition of "gods" in the above sentence to "deity-gods", and I'd agree.

Or, without adding these qualifications, simply say "... all gods are human generated", without adding that word "fiction", and even then I'd agree. (I discussed this in my post #1668.)

Thing is, there are certain non-deity god-ideas, where no, there isn't overwhelming evidence that they are fiction. They probably are, that is my subjective assessment and subjective belief. There is no evidence of their being true, so for I'm soft-atheistic about them, and lead my life as if they aren't true. On the other hand, for these specific non-deity god-ideas (some of which I have already enumerated in that post of mine), no, there isn't overwhelming evidence that they're fiction. There is lack of evidence, but no evidence of lack, for these specific non-deity god-ideas (and some others like them).
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Old Today, 05:44 AM   #1833
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It is not by using faulty logic.

JayUtah said that since God is supposed to be observable he is falsifiable. You reversed the logic.
You didn't answer my question.

How does one falsify the unobservable?
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Old Today, 05:58 AM   #1834
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Jesus Christ people just say "I believe in God without reason because I have faith" and stop pissing on science and logic and reason trying to split a hair fine enough to pretend that's not what you are doing.

This is like watching an alcoholic talk about how much he just "really likes the taste of cheap gin" and you know they're stuck between trying to convince the room and convince themselves.
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Old Today, 06:01 AM   #1835
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Change "all gods" to "most gods", and I'd agree.

Or restrict your definition of "gods" in the above sentence to "deity-gods", and I'd agree.
The word "god" refers to deities in a vast majority of the world.

Quote:
Thing is, there are certain non-deity god-ideas, where no, there isn't overwhelming evidence that they are fiction.
It really seems like you're redefining certain types of ontology as "god ideas".
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Old Today, 06:06 AM   #1836
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Originally Posted by GStan View Post
What are the adequate reasons that one should allow special pleading? Why a claim of god should be treated differently than the claim of a dragon? My sense of the thread generally is that the only reason that has been put forth is 'because the stakes are so high' or some reworded version thereof. Apologies if I missed where you specifically stated these reasons.

Originally Posted by GStan View Post
Yes, with adequate justification for an exception, special pleading, in theory, would not necessarily be fallacious.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
GStan: Thank you! That was single, focused point in that post. Obvious, but necessary to spell out at that juncture.

----

Now, why I believe god "deserves" this greater precision, and the effort that that entails : that'll take more words than I can manage now, and I'll get to that when I return, and get my hands on my computer again.

Now that I am back at my computer, and can type with all ten fingers again, let me now get on, as I’d promised, to the reason why I’m saying that this greater precision (greater than what we accord to other issues in general) is justified when it comes to God.

Actually I’ve already discussed this in this thread, as you may have noticed me saying in my post #1763 that you’ve yourself already read and reviewed. But rather than have you troll through all my early posts here, let me simply try to clearly re-state my case here.



There are two reasons that occur to me.

The first reason is this: There are more than six billion people who believe in (some form of) God.

No, this isn’t some appeal to popularity. I’m not saying people’s beliefs make this thing true, or even likely to be true, or anything like that.

But because these people believe this God thingie, therefore the existence of this God is of overwhelming importance to these folks.

Now: Do I want to engage with these people about their God beliefs?

Had only ten, or ten thousand, or ten million people believed in God(s), then the answer would likely have been “No”. But given that six billion people believe in God, then the answer is likely to be “Yes”. Not always, obviously, but occasionally (that is, I’d probably occasionally engage with them about this question). Perhaps even often, depending on what circles I frequent.

With six billion theists all around me, my girlfriend might happen to be one, or my parents, or my work colleagues, or my friends, or my extended family, as well as those who lay down the policies and the laws that impact me personally; and that directly makes it likely that I might want to engage with something that is so very important to them. And of course, given their sheer numbers, that abstract faith of the abstract ‘populace’ may itself be of importance to me, not in personal terms but in general terms, in as much as it impacts the world at large, so there’s that as well.

So then, we have established this much: God is very important to theists; and, given the overwhelming number of theists, it is very likely that I will want to engage with them about their God. (Not me personally, I meant a generic “I”, much like a generic “you”.)

Now obviously, when I do engage with them, given how important this is to them (the theists), they will demand of me the greatest precision that I can supply, given how important this subject is to them. And nor is this a really unjustifiable demand, after all. After all, all they’re asking of me is greater rigor, greater precision, when dealing with something that is so overridingly important to them. Why would I not give that to them?

Obviously, at the individual level, whether I myself do engage with this at all, that cannot be predicted. That’s up to me, personally, up to my own likes and dislikes and availability (or otherwise) of enough leisure for this. But in general, for the generic “I”, given the sheer number of theists, it is likely that I will engage with this, and that I will give it a great deal of importance, and treat it with a very high degree of precision.

That sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Do you agree, do you also find my reasoning thus far, well, reasonable?

So that was my first and main reason. Because the God subject is so very important to so very many people, therefore the subject assumes importance, and therefore also demands a great deal of precision, even at the cost of a great deal of effort. More importance, more precision, and more effort than many/most other issues.



The second reason is trivial, but nevertheless valid, or so I believe.

This is simply: one’s interest, one’s predilection, that’s all. One’s stand-alone, arbitrary interest, that is not necessarily tied to anything else at all. I personally am drawn to this subject, the subject of gods, including exotic gods, all of that. Which does not make me a theist, nor does it even make me gullible. After all, you can have people with an interest old coins, old maps, some particular kind of literature, even some genre of cinema. And when you are interested in something, you put in more effort than the normal man in studying that something, and you arrive at a greater precision in your views about that thing. (Be that thing some minutiae of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, or God.)

Sure, others may not share that predilection. And that is fine. No one is demanding that people who lack interest should necessarily join the aficionado in poring over Tolkien for the umpteenth time to check some small detail, or in analyzing the intricacies of the strategy followed by some football team, or in checking out the lyrics of some particular song that they’re interested in, or in analyzing Gods to some fine level of precision. Not if they don’t want to.

As with any other subject, those intricacies matter, and that level of precision is warranted, only for those who are interested in them; on the other hand, the fact that some people may not be interested in some particular subject, does not render unwarranted the intricacies and the heightened precision within the subject that the aficionado finds meaningful.



So then you have two reasons, that I can think of, to justify the greater-than-normal precision accorded to religions. One of those reasons is impersonal, and important; and the other is personal, and trivial (but nevertheless valid, far as I can see).
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Old Today, 06:08 AM   #1837
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Jesus Christ people just say "I believe in God without reason because I have faith" and stop pissing on science and logic and reason trying to split a hair fine enough to pretend that's not what you are doing.

This is like watching an alcoholic talk about how much he just "really likes the taste of cheap gin" and you know they're stuck between trying to convince the room and convince themselves.
+1
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Old Today, 06:20 AM   #1838
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Now obviously, when I do engage with them, given how important this is to them (the theists), they will demand of me the greatest precision that I can supply, given how important this subject is to them. And nor is this a really unjustifiable demand, after all. After all, all they’re asking of me is greater rigor, greater precision, when dealing with something that is so overridingly important to them. Why would I not give that to them?
Is that a rhetorical question?

I can think of a lot of reasons to not grant "justifiable special pleading" status to gods.

But at the end of the day, the primary one is that I'm kind of over that, and just don't want to. It's usually pointless. People dead set on using "faith-based reasoning" usually cannot be reasoned with about this topic, so it's all an exercise in futility, anyway.
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