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Old 29th January 2020, 10:49 AM   #641
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
for all intensive purposes
*For all intents and purposes.
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Old 29th January 2020, 11:23 AM   #642
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
*For all intents and purposes.
Yes.
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Old 29th January 2020, 11:28 AM   #643
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'll take your word for that, because it's a phenomenon I've not encountered that often in recent years.
Don't take my word for it Joe. Just look around at the myriad of religions selling their idea of a creator. This pseudo metaphysical swill is its own brand of bull though.
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Old 29th January 2020, 11:31 AM   #644
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Well at least that is something different.

So far all you have said is that nobody believes in "my pgod". Since all I have said is that a god may exist that can create the universe and render himself undetectable.

Are you now saying that it is a different type of "pgod" that nobody believes in?
I am saying what I have said all along in this thread.
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Old 29th January 2020, 12:31 PM   #645
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Don't take my word for it Joe. Just look around at the myriad of religions selling their idea of a creator. This pseudo metaphysical swill is its own brand of bull though.
I think you're using a different distinction between believer and apologist then I am.
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Old 29th January 2020, 12:46 PM   #646
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I think you're using a different distinction between believer and apologist then I am.
OK
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Old 29th January 2020, 01:44 PM   #647
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Since all I have said is that a god may exist that can create the universe and render himself undetectable.
Not knowing if a thing exists doesn’t make it correct to say “it may exist”, because that’s a claim of a possibility that you don’t know is possible or even may be possible.
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Old 29th January 2020, 02:02 PM   #648
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Are you suggesting their knowledge of God was flawed, or that they just made it all up?

Given that I am an atheist (you should know this by now), the later is obviously my opinion.



Quote:
Do you think that is just silly? I do. But apparently Thor doesn't.

I what!

I have indicated quite clearly. Well clearly to those endowed with some minimum of comprehension ability. That the Bible is obviously written by guys with no knowledge of the size of the universe and stars.
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Old 29th January 2020, 02:12 PM   #649
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
We already have one poster playing the "I know you are but what about me?" card (and others running with it).

Don't say that "post of mine" means your post.

You seem to be able to miss the point in a spectacular way with monotonous regularity. Given you are responding to so many dissenters simultaneously, I suppose it understandable you would get confused, about what post you are responding to however.
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Old 29th January 2020, 03:27 PM   #650
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All the made-up gods throughout human history have at least had some practical purpose behind their invention:
- some make it rain
- some make your hunt for food successful
- some might help you win a war
- some control what happens to you after you die
- there may even be one that makes sure your shoelaces stay tied.
The common thread is that they interact with humans on an ongoing basis and humans are required to acknowledge their existence in order to solicit their help.

An entity that creates a universe and then buggers off never to be heard from again is not a god by any definition that humans use or have ever used. It needs a category of its own.
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Old 29th January 2020, 04:57 PM   #651
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I'm reminded of Vonnegut's Church of God the Utterly Indifferent.
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Old 29th January 2020, 05:22 PM   #652
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
All the made-up gods throughout human history have at least had some practical purpose behind their invention:
- some make it rain
- some make your hunt for food successful
- some might help you win a war
- some control what happens to you after you die
- there may even be one that makes sure your shoelaces stay tied.
The common thread is that they interact with humans on an ongoing basis and humans are required to acknowledge their existence in order to solicit their help.

An entity that creates a universe and then buggers off never to be heard from again is not a god by any definition that humans use or have ever used. It needs a category of its own.

They have one of those in NE Thailand.

In and around the town of Yasothon they have the rocket festival when rockets are fired into the sky to tell the god "Phaya Thaen" to send down the rain because the rice crop needs it. The Thais are all Buddhist of course but can always lever a god or two into their beliefs.
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Old 29th January 2020, 05:25 PM   #653
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
They have one of those in NE Thailand.

In and around the town of Yasothon they have the rocket festival when rockets are fired into the sky to tell the god "Phaya Thaen" to send down the rain because the rice crop needs it. The Thais are all Buddhist of course but can always lever a god or two into their beliefs.
Maybe your country could borrow that god for a while to put out the fires.
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Old 29th January 2020, 06:08 PM   #654
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I believe that I said long ago that a being that is capable of creating the universe is capable of avoiding detection.
What purpose would be served by believing in the existence of such a being?
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Old 29th January 2020, 07:07 PM   #655
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
What purpose would be served by believing in the existence of such a being?
You don't have to believe in such a being nor anything like it.

You just can't say that it is impossible or extremely unlikely. We don't have any information about the "beginning" itself.

You could say it was all random chance or that an existing set of natural laws dictate that a complex universe had to spring up. These alternatives to an intelligence have inadequacies of their own but they are just as valid scientifically as a being who's nature no two people can agree on.
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Old 29th January 2020, 07:37 PM   #656
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You could say it was all random chance or that an existing set of natural laws dictate that a complex universe had to spring up. These alternatives to an intelligence have inadequacies of their own but they are just as valid scientifically as a being who's nature no two people can agree on.
Educate us all. What is "valid scientifically" about an invisible, supernatural, intelligent, universe creating being for which absolutely no scientific evidence exists, or could even possibly exist?

There is heaps of scientific evidence that nature and natural processes exist.
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Old 29th January 2020, 07:37 PM   #657
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You don't have to believe in such a being nor anything like it.

You just can't say that it is impossible or extremely unlikely. We don't have any information about the "beginning" itself.

You could say it was all random chance or that an existing set of natural laws dictate that a complex universe had to spring up. These alternatives to an intelligence have inadequacies of their own but they are just as valid scientifically as a being who's nature no two people can agree on.
But as I have pointed out before, if such a being exists, and it is impossible for us to detect, then it is an unnecessary entity and we do not want to unnecessarily multiply entities. A universe without such an entity is simpler and more parsimonious to contemplate than a universe with one.

Furthermore, even if such an entity does exist, we are better off thinking and acting in all ways as though it does not.

Therefore, while it is true that such an entity is logically possible, for all practical intents and purposes, it does not.
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Old 29th January 2020, 07:49 PM   #658
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Therefore, while it is true that such an entity is logically possible, for all practical intents and purposes, it does not.
Educate us all. What is "logically possible" about an invisible, supernatural, intelligent, universe creating being for which absolutely no scientific evidence exists, or could even possibly exist?
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Old 29th January 2020, 07:57 PM   #659
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Educate us all. What is "logically possible" about an invisible, supernatural, intelligent, universe creating being for which absolutely no scientific evidence exists, or could even possibly exist?
Its nonexistence cannot be proven.

But the nonexistence of the dragon in the garage can't be proven either, and we don't generally make allowances for its existence in our worldviews. We shouldn't make allowances for the existence of a secret nondetectable extrauniversal entity either. I afford both of them exactly the same amount of nonconsideration.
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:06 PM   #660
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Its nonexistence cannot be proven.

But the nonexistence of the dragon in the garage can't be proven either, and we don't generally make allowances for its existence in our worldviews. We shouldn't make allowances for the existence of a secret nondetectable extrauniversal entity either. I afford both of them exactly the same amount of nonconsideration.
"Logically possible" and "cannot be proven possible" are contradictory statements.
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:10 PM   #661
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
"Logically possible" and "cannot be proven possible" are contradictory statements.
But that's not what I said. I said that it's impossible to logically prove its nonexistence. You can't prove that something doesn't exist.

That doesn't mean that you always therefore have to afford it serious consideration, because there are factors other than logic to take into account.
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:11 PM   #662
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You could say it was all random chance or that an existing set of natural laws dictate that a complex universe had to spring up. These alternatives to an intelligence have inadequacies of their own but they are just as valid scientifically as a being who's nature no two people can agree on.
Well at least you have finally answered this question . . .
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Are you claiming the odds of god(s) actually existing or not is 50/50?
And your answer is "Yes" given "just as" is the same as "equally" (50/50)
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:15 PM   #663
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
But as I have pointed out before, if such a being exists, and it is impossible for us to detect, then it is an unnecessary entity and we do not want to unnecessarily multiply entities. A universe without such an entity is simpler and more parsimonious to contemplate than a universe with one.

Furthermore, even if such an entity does exist, we are better off thinking and acting in all ways as though it does not.

Therefore, while it is true that such an entity is logically possible, for all practical intents and purposes, it does not.
You have been a member of churches before and you know what the religious teaching is about God making himself known to some and hidden to others.

This teaching may not be believable but saying that God is permanently hidden to all is a strawman.
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:16 PM   #664
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
But that's not what I said. I said that it's impossible to logically prove its nonexistence. You can't prove that something doesn't exist.

That doesn't mean that you always therefore have to afford it serious consideration, because there are factors other than logic to take into account.
This is what you actually said (that I responded to) . . .
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Therefore, while it is true that such an entity is logically possible
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:22 PM   #665
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You have been a member of churches before and you know what the religious teaching is about God making himself known to some and hidden to others.

This teaching may not be believable but saying that God is permanently hidden to all is a strawman.
That's not what my church taught. My church taught that God made himself known to anybody and everybody who asked him to.
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:24 PM   #666
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
This is what you actually said (that I responded to) . . .
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Therefore, while it is true that such an entity is logically possible
Yes. Such an entity is logically possible because it is impossible to logically prove that it is impossible.

I don't understand what's confusing you about this.
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:27 PM   #667
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Well at least you have finally answered this question . . .

And your answer is "Yes" given "just as" is the same as "equally" (50/50)
I wouldn't have thought that saying "just as valid" was equivalent to saying "50/50" - especially since we now have 3 options.

You are right in that if we have to assign a probability to something we have no information about then under duress we would say 50/50. It doesn't work if we start listing alternatives though ("what are the odds that Jehovah exists?", "what are the odds that Buddha exists?", "what are the odds that Allah exists?", etc).
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:30 PM   #668
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's not what my church taught. My church taught that God made himself known to anybody and everybody who asked him to.
I seem to remember something about asking "with faith".

Regardless, a lot of people aren't going to ask God to reveal himself to them.
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:30 PM   #669
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I wouldn't have thought that saying "just as valid" was equivalent to saying "50/50" - especially since we now have 3 options.

You are right in that if we have to assign a probability to something we have no information about then under duress we would say 50/50. It doesn't work if we start listing alternatives though ("what are the odds that Jehovah exists?", "what are the odds that Buddha exists?", "what are the odds that Allah exists?", etc).
If we have to assign a probability it would be more intellectually honest to say "I have no data with which to speculate on what the probability might be".
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Old 29th January 2020, 08:32 PM   #670
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I seem to remember something about asking "with faith".
Nope. All we asked for was for someone to be "open".

Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Regardless, a lot of people aren't going to ask God to reveal himself to them.
That's why we witnessed to them. To tell them that they could, and that their life would be much better if they did.

It was a frighteningly effective recruitment method, especially when combined with the personal testimony. I never used it. Not even once.
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Old 29th January 2020, 09:09 PM   #671
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yes. Such an entity is logically possible because it is impossible to logically prove that it is impossible.

I don't understand what's confusing you about this.
I'm not confused, I think you are wrong.

Not being able to prove a thing is impossible doesn't mean it's possible.
Not being able to prove a thing is possible doesn't mean it's impossible.
Not being able to prove a thing is possible or impossible means you don't know.

Not being able to prove a jar contains an odd number of jellybeans, because you don't and will never have an opportunity to count them, isn't proof it contains an even number (and vice versa). If the jar in fact contains an odd number then it's impossible it contains an even number. Knowledge confirms the fact, it doesn't create it.
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Old 29th January 2020, 09:25 PM   #672
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I'm not confused, I think you are wrong.

Not being able to prove a thing is impossible isn't proof that it's possible.

Not being able to prove a jar contains an odd number of jellybeans because you don't and will never have an opportunity to count them, isn't proof it contains an even number. If the jar in fact contained and odd number then an even number isn't possible (and vice versa).

The only logical and intellectually honest answer is "I don't know".
I'm drawing a firm distinction between logical proof and reasonable conclusion.

In your jellybean analogy, I'm not claiming that not being able to prove that the jar contains an odd number proves that the jar contains an even number. I'm claiming that not being able to prove that the jar contains an odd number leads to a reasonable conclusion that it may contain an even number.

Regardless, that's not even my main argument. My main argument is that there is nothing to be gained by suggesting that there is an odd number of jellybeans in the jar without some evidence of that being correct, so we shouldn't be doing that. There is nothing to be gained by postulating the existence of a invisible garage dragon, or a secret nondetectable extrauniversal entity either.
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Old 29th January 2020, 09:44 PM   #673
ynot
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I edit my post as you were replying.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I'm drawing a firm distinction between logical proof and reasonable conclusion.
Either way I still think your logic is wrong.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
In your jellybean analogy, I'm not claiming that not being able to prove that the jar contains an odd number proves that the jar contains an even number. I'm claiming that not being able to prove that the jar contains an odd number leads to a reasonable conclusion that it may contain an even number.
No, in the analogy you are saying it’s “logically possible” the jar contains an even number. But “reasonable conclusion” is also logically wrong.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Regardless, that's not even my main argument. My main argument is that there is nothing to be gained by suggesting that there is an odd number of jellybeans in the jar without some evidence of that being correct
My main argument is that there is nothing to be gained by suggesting that there is either an odd or even number of jellybeans in the jar without some evidence of which option is in fact correct.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
so we shouldn't be doing that. There is nothing to be gained by postulating the existence of a invisible garage dragon, or a secret nondetectable extrauniversal entity either.
Yet you did exactly that! . . .
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Therefore, while it is true that such an entity [god] is logically possible
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Last edited by ynot; 29th January 2020 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 29th January 2020, 09:58 PM   #674
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Yet you did exactly that! . . .
As the opening clause of a sentence in which I concluded that it doesn't matter whether it's logically possible or not, because for all reasonable intents and purposes we can believe and behave as though it does not exist.

I must say I think it's terribly dishonest to pull that single clause - not even a whole sentence - and use it to completely change the conclusion I was actually arguing.

Which is, I repeat yet again, that even if such an entity is logically possible (which is a conclusion I granted for the sake of argument only), we should act and behave as though it does not exist because it is more parsimonious to not postulate the existence of unnecessary entities.

Or, if you like it in different words, strong agnosticism leads directly to practical atheism.

Now, would you like to talk about what I am actually talking about, or would you prefer to continue cherry-picking sentence fragments and pretending that I'm saying something different?
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Old 29th January 2020, 11:54 PM   #675
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
As the opening clause of a sentence in which I concluded that it doesn't matter whether it's logically possible or not, because for all reasonable intents and purposes we can believe and behave as though it does not exist.

I must say I think it's terribly dishonest to pull that single clause - not even a whole sentence - and use it to completely change the conclusion I was actually arguing.

Which is, I repeat yet again, that even if such an entity is logically possible (which is a conclusion I granted for the sake of argument only), we should act and behave as though it does not exist because it is more parsimonious to not postulate the existence of unnecessary entities.

Or, if you like it in different words, strong agnosticism leads directly to practical atheism.

Now, would you like to talk about what I am actually talking about, or would you prefer to continue cherry-picking sentence fragments and pretending that I'm saying something different?
I completely refute your accusation that “it's terribly dishonest to pull that single clause” because it stands on it’s own right and isn’t an integral part of our whole post, and is the only part of your post I was challenging . . .
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
But as I have pointed out before, if such a being exists, and it is impossible for us to detect, then it is an unnecessary entity and we do not want to unnecessarily multiply entities. A universe without such an entity is simpler and more parsimonious to contemplate than a universe with one.

Furthermore, even if such an entity does exist, we are better off thinking and acting in all ways as though it does not.

Therefore, while it is true that such an entity is logically possible, for all practical intents and purposes, it does not.
How is your argument changed if you remove this?
How is this changed if you remove the rest of your post?

I wasn’t responding to your entire post and the conclusion you were arguing. I was specifically challenging only what you said in the portion I quoted, and that’s why I only quoted that specific portion.

The “It is true that such an entity is logically possible” portion of your post is an independent statement that isn’t an integral part of your conclusion or argument. If you disagree please explain how it is.

"even if such an entity is logically possible" is way different than "it is true that such an entity is logically possible" (hardly a conclusion you granted for the sake of argument only).

Now, would you like to talk about what I am actually talking about?
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Last edited by ynot; 30th January 2020 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 30th January 2020, 12:17 AM   #676
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
If we have to assign a probability it would be more intellectually honest to say "I have no data with which to speculate on what the probability might be".
True but for betting purposes, you sometimes have to guess a probability even though you don't have a clue.

I can't think of a better example so this will have to do. Suppose we have bag of coloured balls and I say, "I bet that if we pull a ball (blindfolded) from the bag, it will be blue. What odds will you give me?" The bag could have any number of blue balls. They might be all blue balls in which case I can't lose. But it might have balls of every colour except blue in which case I can't win. Would you offer odds of anything other than 50-50 (or would you say "I'm not a betting man" ).

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Nope. All we asked for was for someone to be "open".
That rules out this forum then.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's why we witnessed to them. To tell them that they could, and that their life would be much better if they did.

It was a frighteningly effective recruitment method, especially when combined with the personal testimony. I never used it. Not even once.
Yes, I learned a long time ago that "power of the spirit" and "power of suggestion" were very hard to distinguish between. Especially in the Pentecostal churches where some of these preachers could be very charismatic.

Anyhow, this is getting way too specific.
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Old 30th January 2020, 02:27 AM   #677
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Educate us all. What is "valid scientifically" about an invisible, supernatural, intelligent, universe creating being for which absolutely no scientific evidence exists, or could even possibly exist?
You could ask exactly the same question about random chance. AFAIK there is no such thing as "random chance" - just events that can't be controlled or predicted (that's why we get so many discussions about determinism). Sure, if you assume that something is random you can get the mathematics to work out but that doesn't prove that something called "random" is controlling anything.

Of course, I could be entirely wrong about this. In science, nothing is sacred.
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Old 30th January 2020, 05:37 AM   #678
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
If god's permanently undetectable it's the same thing as being undetectable. If he's detectable some of the time, then he's detectable. You're just playing with words, but neither of those options help your argument.

Are you EVER going to directly address our points to you?
Crickets. I guess the answer is no, then.
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Old 30th January 2020, 06:24 AM   #679
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The God's still there just as much as the Dragon in my Garage.

Never going to get an answer on why God is different.
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Old 30th January 2020, 06:49 AM   #680
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Of course, I could be entirely wrong about this. In science, nothing is sacred.
That doesn't mean you can just reverse the burden on proof on unsupported claims, that it justifies JAQing Off, or that it allows you to pick and choose which "technically possible" things have to be acknowledged.
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