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Old 18th May 2020, 10:17 AM   #201
Lithrael
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Premise -- everything has a beginning and an end.
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
A wiener sausage has two ends. Now what?
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
How do you know it doesn't have two beginnings?
Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
Because at tight times like this, it is hard to make ends meat.

You guys owe me a new cup of coffee.
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Old 18th May 2020, 10:26 AM   #202
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God didn't begin to exist because god is magic.

In fact, every argument for god essentially boils down to "because god is magic".
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Old 18th May 2020, 12:02 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
You guys owe me a new cup of coffee.
Are not exchanges like this entire point of this forum?
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Old 18th May 2020, 01:13 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I would also question the first premise. There's no reason to suppose everything is contingent other than as a reductio ad deum argument, so in effect, again, the whole line of reasoning begs the question.

Dave
Can't prove a negative, one can't prove a non contigent thing or being doesn't exist. Someone who opposes or questions the claim would have to produce a thing or being that is non contigent.
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Old 18th May 2020, 01:51 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Can't prove a negative, one can't prove a non contigent thing or being doesn't exist.
Quite. So, as a premise of the argument for god, it can't be proven or demonstrated from observation. Hence the argument fails.

Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Someone who opposes or questions the claim would have to produce a thing or being that is non contigent.
No, that's a classic reversal of the burden of proof. If a theologian makes the claim that there is no non-contingent thing or being, the burden of proof is on him to support that claim - and, as you point out, that's impossible.

Dave
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Old 18th May 2020, 04:39 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
You guys owe me a new cup of coffee.
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Old 19th May 2020, 07:33 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Quite. So, as a premise of the argument for god, it can't be proven or demonstrated from observation. Hence the argument fails.



No, that's a classic reversal of the burden of proof. If a theologian makes the claim that there is no non-contingent thing or being, the burden of proof is on him to support that claim - and, as you point out, that's impossible.

Dave

Actually the argument begins with an observation: The universe is an ensemble of contingent things and beings . . . and concludes that God as non contigent being is a logical / factual necessity - does not claim there is evidence of a non contigent being. By definition there can't be evidence of a non contigent being or thing (for example a non contigent being could not exist in time and space for then the Being is contigent upon time and space).
IOW, requesting evidence of a non contigent thing or being makes no sense.
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Old 20th May 2020, 02:34 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Actually the argument begins with an observation: The universe is an ensemble of contingent things and beings . . .
Isn't that a definition?
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Old 20th May 2020, 06:55 AM   #209
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How about a definition based on observation?
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:34 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Actually the argument begins with an observation: The universe is an ensemble of contingent things and beings . . . and concludes that God as non contigent being is a logical / factual necessity - does not claim there is evidence of a non contigent being. By definition there can't be evidence of a non contigent being or thing (for example a non contigent being could not exist in time and space for then the Being is contigent upon time and space).
IOW, requesting evidence of a non contigent thing or being makes no sense.
Nor does claiming it is necessary. There are no logical grounds for such a stupid claim.

Disagree? The feel free to demonstrate the logical necessity of a non-contingent being. I know you wont because nobody ever has. And I very much doubt you will buck the trend.
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:36 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
How about a definition based on observation?
A definition based on observation is tentative.

Very much so if the object of observation is something of which we can only observe a small fraction.

Hans
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:53 AM   #212
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Ya don't think we might be being trolled by any chance?
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:56 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Ya don't think we might be being trolled by any chance?
Quite likely.
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Old 20th May 2020, 12:46 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Actually the argument begins with an observation: The universe is an ensemble of contingent things and beings . . . and concludes that God as non contigent being is a logical / factual necessity - does not claim there is evidence of a non contigent being. By definition there can't be evidence of a non contigent being or thing (for example a non contigent being could not exist in time and space for then the Being is contigent upon time and space).
IOW, requesting evidence of a non contigent thing or being makes no sense.
To rephrase your argument:

The universe consists of real things. God is not a real thing. Therefore there cannot be evidence of God. Requesting evidence of God makes no sense.

I agree. Boy I love philosophy!
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Old 20th May 2020, 02:38 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
A definition based on observation is tentative.

Very much so if the object of observation is something of which we can only observe a small fraction.

Hans
All definitions except the abstract mathematical are based on observation . . . ie definition of an electron, apple, elephant, etc.
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Old 20th May 2020, 02:59 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Nor does claiming it is necessary. There are no logical grounds for such a stupid claim.

Disagree? The feel free to demonstrate the logical necessity of a non-contingent being. I know you wont because nobody ever has. And I very much doubt you will buck the trend.
We all agree there is a reality, and all evidence indicates this reality (universe) is an ensemble of contigent things and beings. ( No one has produced evidence to suggest there are any non contigent things or beings. )
The question then is: Does this reality 'sit upon' a logical necessity, that is, a non contigent brute fact (God); or, is reality an infinite regress of sequential contingencies?
Aquinas's argument was that non contigent absolute is a logical necessity.
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Old 20th May 2020, 06:06 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
All definitions except the abstract mathematical are based on observation . . . ie definition of an electron, apple, elephant, etc.
Santa Claus?
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Old 21st May 2020, 01:00 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
We all agree there is a reality, and all evidence indicates this reality (universe) is an ensemble of contigent things and beings. ( No one has produced evidence to suggest there are any non contigent things or beings. )
The question then is: Does this reality 'sit upon' a logical necessity, that is, a non contigent brute fact (God); or, is reality an infinite regress of sequential contingencies?
Aquinas's argument was that non contigent absolute is a logical necessity.
Assuming you mean "contingent". I see a stone. Please explain why you claim that I observe that as being a "contigent thing" rather than just a thing?
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Old 21st May 2020, 01:49 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
All definitions except the abstract mathematical are based on observation . . . ie definition of an electron, apple, elephant, etc.
I would have to question including "electron" in that list. We have no instrument that would make direct observation possible. We deduce its existence based on the effects it has on its environment.
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Old 21st May 2020, 02:14 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I would have to question including "electron" in that list. We have no instrument that would make direct observation possible. We deduce its existence based on the effects it has on its environment.
So you are claiming that there is no means to isolate a single electron and measure it's properties?
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Old 21st May 2020, 03:49 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
So you are claiming that there is no means to isolate a single electron and measure it's properties?
Relax, we are not discussing "god particles" here.

As to whether individual electrons can be tested in isolation, you would have to ask somebody more versed in physics than me.

But that wasn't what I was posting about. We have no way to observe individual electrons directly and that makes them different to apples and elephants.
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Old 21st May 2020, 03:51 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I would have to question including "electron" in that list. We have no instrument that would make direct observation possible. We deduce its existence based on the effects it has on its environment.

Strictly speaking, everything is deduced through its effect on its environment. Our senses are making this deduction.
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Old 21st May 2020, 03:53 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
But that wasn't what I was posting about. We have no way to observe individual electrons directly and that makes them different to apples and elephants.
Not really. It takes a bit of work, but I believe that with enough time to acclimatize to darkness it's possible to see the scintillation produced by a high energy electron in the lens of the eye.

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Old 21st May 2020, 04:23 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Not really. It takes a bit of work, but I believe that with enough time to acclimatize to darkness it's possible to see the scintillation produced by a high energy electron in the lens of the eye.
Assuming that is true and that it applies to just one electron in isolation, we would only be seeing the "scintillation" and not the electron itself.

Why does everybody want to suddenly argue that there is no difference between an electron and an apple or an elephant?
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Old 21st May 2020, 04:30 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
How about a definition based on observation?
The clause "based on observation" adds nothing useful. The definition of "universe" as all entities joined by contingence (or, as I like to put it, all entitues that are able to interact directly or indirectly) is valid and understandable even if most of those entities (to a first approximation: all of them) have not been observed, and even if you doubt the reality of some or most observed entities. It also holds and makes understandable sense for other, unobserved universes.
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Old 21st May 2020, 04:32 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Assuming that is true and that it applies to just one electron in isolation, we would only be seeing the "scintillation" and not the electron itself.
That's a distinction without a difference. In either case, what we are 'seeing' is the detection of a nerve impulse caused by a single electron impinging on the body, with no additional equipment required. You're imposing an arbitrary distinction between the mechanism by which the electron is converted to a nerve impulse and the mechanism by which the outline of an apple is converted to a nerve impulse, yet one which I presume doesn't apply to the equally great distinction between the mechanisms by which tactile and visual senses operate. If there's to be any reasonable definition of "direct observation", surely it must mean that an object can be detected by the brain via the senses without additional equipment, right?

Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Why does everybody want to suddenly argue that there is no difference between an electron and an apple or an elephant?
In this instance, because the claim made is at best debatable and at worst wrong, and that's what skeptical discussion is all about. There are obvious differences between all three, but "can/cannot be detected by the senses without an instrument that makes its observation possible" is not one of them.

Dave
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Old 21st May 2020, 04:35 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Assuming that is true and that it applies to just one electron in isolation, we would only be seeing the "scintillation" and not the electron itself.

Why does everybody want to suddenly argue that there is no difference between an electron and an apple or an elephant?
Just like you never see or feel an apple, you only form awareness through interactions of the scintillations of you electrons with the scintillations of the apple's electrons.
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Old 21st May 2020, 04:37 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
That's a distinction without a difference.
It makes all the difference to me.

You could hear a motor vehicle being driven in the street without seeing it either. That doesn't mean that this is the same as looking at an apple or an elephant. You wouldn't know the shape of the vehicle nor its colour nor the number of occupants nor many other things that direct observation would reveal to you.
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Old 21st May 2020, 04:41 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Just like you never see or feel an apple, you only form awareness through interactions of the scintillations of your electrons with the scintillations of the apple's electrons and the interactions of photons scattered from the apple with your retinas.
FTFY; scintillation, the emission of light when ionizing radiation passes through a material, is a different process to the electrical interactions that are generally simplified as contact between materials. But, yes, if you want to play the "that's an indirect means" card, then everything is an indirect means.

Dave
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Old 21st May 2020, 04:42 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It makes all the difference to me.

You could hear a motor vehicle being driven in the street without seeing it either. That doesn't mean that this is the same as looking at an apple or an elephant. You wouldn't know the shape of the vehicle nor its colour nor the number of occupants nor many other things that direct observation would reveal to you.
So you're excluding all sensory inputs except visual ones from your definition of direct observation? In that case, it's impossible to observe a sound or a smell directly, so they're more like an electron than an apple or an elephant, right?

Dave
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Old 21st May 2020, 05:32 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
So you're excluding all sensory inputs except visual ones from your definition of direct observation?
Of course not. You are now entering strawman territory.

You would obviously need some instrument to "see" an electron (just like you would for bacteria). Since no such instrument exists, you can only observe an electron by its impact on the environment and that includes light emission as it travels at speed.
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Old 21st May 2020, 05:46 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Of course not. You are now entering strawman territory.

You would obviously need some instrument to "see" an electron (just like you would for bacteria). Since no such instrument exists, you can only observe an electron by its impact on the environment and that includes light emission as it travels at speed.
It isn't its impact on the environment you're detecting. What you're detecting in the instance I cited is its impact on the body of the observer. No additional equipment or interpretation is necessary; you are, in fact, directly observing an electron. What you seem to be doing is imposing arbitrary standards of what specific physical interactions are required between the observed object and the body of the observer; in effect, you're redefining the word "observe" to try to support your argument. That's called the No True Scotsman argument.

Dave

ETA: And by the way, you're also using your conclusion that an electron can't be seen without an instrument as the basis of your argument that an electron can't be seen without an instrument. That's a circular argument.
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Old 21st May 2020, 06:17 AM   #233
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This is getting beyond ridiculous! Anybody can see what I am talking about but if you would rather look like a fool than agree with me then so be it.
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Old 21st May 2020, 06:22 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
This is getting beyond ridiculous! Anybody can see what I am talking about but if you would rather look like a fool than agree with me then so be it.
I'm sure everybody can see who's presented new evidence and who's sticking to the original argument it contradicts. Some people would just say "cool, I never knew that."

Dave
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Old 21st May 2020, 01:18 PM   #235
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
This is getting beyond ridiculous! Anybody can see what I am talking about ...
Yes. And also that you invoke fallacious arguments.
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Old 21st May 2020, 01:22 PM   #236
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Originally Posted by devhdb View Post
dvhdb, when are you going to show us how to hack atheism?

Also, what does the hack do? Jailbreak? Overclock? Infinite health? Start with the BFG?
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Old 21st May 2020, 01:35 PM   #237
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
dvhdb, when are you going to show us how to hack atheism?

Also, what does the hack do? Jailbreak? Overclock? Infinite health? Start with the BFG?
I presume it attempts to chop up atheism into the smallest possible components of consciousness.
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