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Old 26th May 2021, 09:28 PM   #1
Scorpion
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Does anything exist?

I had a dream last night in which I was having a discussion with my ex philosophy teacher. She said nothing exists and gave the name of a philosopher as a reference to that viewpoint. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name.
Does anyone know of a philosopher who held that view?

I said in the dream, I exist because I think therefore I am, and my mind is not capable of creating all that I perceive. But I do believe that Gods mind is capable of sustaining creation and the laws of physics that support everything we observe. However everything is an illusion, and it is not what it appears to be to our senses.
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Old 26th May 2021, 10:23 PM   #2
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Whoa man, thats deep! You don't have anything to eat round here do you? I'm really hungry for some reason.
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Old 27th May 2021, 12:32 AM   #3
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In the same vein -- idle thoughts which will take you precisely nowhere .

Ponder the thought that using ideas like the Uncertainty principle and Quantum Strangeness , you are everywhere and therefore anywhere at the same instant .

You are omnipresent .
You are the Universe .

Except for those bits that I am deeply allergic to .
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Old 27th May 2021, 01:59 AM   #4
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Elementary particles are mostly empty space.

The Atom is mostly empty space.
Matter is mostly empty space.

The Solar system is mostly empty space.
The galaxy is mostly empty space
The Universe is mostly empty space.


So, mostly, nothing exists.
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Old 27th May 2021, 06:05 AM   #5
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But that mostly-empty-space brick still hurts like hell if it falls on your head....
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Old 27th May 2021, 06:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I had a dream last night in which I was having a discussion with my ex philosophy teacher. She said nothing exists and gave the name of a philosopher as a reference to that viewpoint. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name.
Does anyone know of a philosopher who held that view?

I said in the dream, I exist because I think therefore I am, and my mind is not capable of creating all that I perceive. But I do believe that Gods mind is capable of sustaining creation and the laws of physics that support everything we observe. However everything is an illusion, and it is not what it appears to be to our senses.
You're still arguing that something exists. It's in fact impossible not to.
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Old 27th May 2021, 06:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Elementary particles are mostly empty space.

The Atom is mostly empty space.
Matter is mostly empty space.

The Solar system is mostly empty space.
The galaxy is mostly empty space
The Universe is mostly empty space.


So, mostly, nothing exists.
Where 'nothing' includes a large number of quantum fluctuations and virtual particles.
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Old 27th May 2021, 06:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
But that mostly-empty-space brick still hurts like hell if it falls on your head....
Actually pain is nothing but an electrical signal sent up the nerves to the brain which interprets it as pain. Some yoga masters can overcome pain, as can be seen by Buddhists monks who immolated themselves in petrol in protest at war. They overcame the pain sufficiently to sit quietly in the lotus position while they burnt to death. Ordinary humans would have screamed and writhed about.
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Old 27th May 2021, 06:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Actually pain is nothing but an electrical signal sent up the nerves to the brain which interprets it as pain.
That's what he said: it hurts like hell.

Quote:
Some yoga masters can overcome pain, as can be seen by Buddhists monks who immolated themselves in petrol in protest at war.
They didn't overcome the pain. They did their best to ignore it. It was still there.
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Old 27th May 2021, 06:54 AM   #10
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Gorgias the Sophist, perhaps.

If nothing existed, who or what would know it? One can say in all sorts of ways that things don't exist as we think they do, and that the material world does not exist as we think it does, but if it were true that nothing at all exists there truly would be no there there.

Even to speak of nonexistence requires that existence exists.
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Old 27th May 2021, 08:17 AM   #11
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I know, Sir! Me, Sir!

Is it if a one-handed pope falls over a koan in a wood you can hear a bear **** in the Vatican?

Is it that one?
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Old 27th May 2021, 08:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I had a dream last night in which I was having a discussion with my ex philosophy teacher. She said nothing exists and gave the name of a philosopher as a reference to that viewpoint. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name.
Does anyone know of a philosopher who held that view?

I said in the dream, I exist because I think therefore I am, and my mind is not capable of creating all that I perceive. But I do believe that Gods mind is capable of sustaining creation and the laws of physics that support everything we observe. However everything is an illusion, and it is not what it appears to be to our senses.
There is school of thought which essentially teaches that the reality we see is not reality at all.

However, even if this is the case, then we still have to live now as if the reality we constantly experience is actual reality.
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Old 27th May 2021, 08:44 AM   #13
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As the monks labored to build a wall, the Master, sitting and watching, said, " All experience is illusion."

A monk turned and bounced a brick off the Master's head. The Master cried, "You son of a bitch, why'd you do that?"

The monk cupped his ear to listen, and said, "I am experiencing the illusion of the Master's distress."

The other monks laughed. The Master stood up and cried, "That's it, you're all off the payroll! Pack yer goddamn monk-gear and catch the next train outa here!"

The monks experienced the illusion of drawing unemployment checks. The wall remains unfinished and may be seen to this day. In case you don't believe me.
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Old 27th May 2021, 08:46 AM   #14
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And the fact that this kind of absurdity gets even .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000001% more respect when it's phrased as "Philosophy" is why I increasingly hate the concept.
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Old 27th May 2021, 08:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Where 'nothing' includes a large number of quantum fluctuations and virtual particles.
A lot of very smart people argue that so called empty space is replete in energy and this will act as the springboard for our next technological jump .
Naturally those whose money and power is built on more conventional power and propulsion sources will do everything and more to ensure a smooth transition to this new level when it suits and profits them and only them .
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:02 AM   #16
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If we're going to do Brain-in-Vat and The Matrix, can we at least get some stoned teenage hotties all up in here? We had some the last time I did this.

And re: "mostly nothing": just shows how power packed particles are. A little goes a long way.
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And the fact that this kind of absurdity gets even .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000001% more respect when it's phrased as "Philosophy" is why I increasingly hate the concept.
Agreed.

Philosophy is useful in and of itself. But when it wanders into territory that anyone can claim anything with equal validity? That is when it falls off a cliff.

Reality does not care much about how hard anyone can stare at their own navel.

What is the point of all that nonsense? Even the most ardent adherents of such bovine ideas still put one leg in each trew in the morning, every morning. If such wastes of space really believed any of that crapfest, they could simply imagine that they put clothes on in the first place and it would be true, somehow.

What amuses me is that such folks think that "reality" is merely an illusion. Yet somehow they cannot fight reality, because reality actually does not care what any nob end may invent out of a fevered imagination. It just keeps on going regardless.

One could test this. If the woo merchant is so convinced of this, one could blindfold them and send them forth across a busy freeway. Will they get to the other side? You will find none willing to take that challenge (and I would not ask it). The point is that they do not believe their own baloney.
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:13 AM   #18
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According to the Lankavatara Sutra, all discussion about the reality of reality is discussion of the unreality of reality. All discussion of the unreality of reality is discussion of the reality of reality.

Frail on his feet, the elderly Bodhidharma held up his cane, "Quickly, tell me about the reality of this stick! If you say it's real, I'll strike you with it! If you say it's unreal, I'll strike you with it!"

The student answered, "Master, please bring your cane down and lean on it before you fall."

Bodhidharma nodded "Yes!"
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:18 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Monica 56 View Post
A lot of very smart people argue that so called empty space is replete in energy and this will act as the springboard for our next technological jump .
Naturally those whose money and power is built on more conventional power and propulsion sources will do everything and more to ensure a smooth transition to this new level when it suits and profits them and only them .
You're not making sense. If this new source of energy existed, those with money and power would jump at the opportunity for a new market.

You are also off topic.
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:21 AM   #20
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Better question: What is the actual topic of the thread? The question in the title, or the question in the OP?
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
You're not making sense. If this new source of energy existed, those with money and power would jump at the opportunity for a new market.
Just like the coal industry kept oil and hydro a secret. And just like the oil industry kept nuclear, solar, and wind a secret.
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:33 AM   #22
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Does anything exist?

Short answer "yes" with an "if", long answer "no" with a "but".
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:34 AM   #23
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The fact you can even think about asking a question means that _something_ exists. As to what that is, well, that's another question.
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:38 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Just like the coal industry kept oil and hydro a secret. And just like the oil industry kept nuclear, solar, and wind a secret.
And don't forget the 100 mile per gallon carburetor. We'll never see that one, they hid it so well.

On your other question, I am guessing that the OP meant the question in the post, not the title, since the title is utterly nonsensical and the post could be said to make some sense even if it's entirely wrong.

I'm reminded of an old "Grook" by Piet Hein, which, as I recall, goes:

"The universe may
be as great as they say,
but it wouldn't be missed
if it didn't exist."
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:42 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
Whoa man, thats deep! You don't have anything to eat round here do you? I'm really hungry for some reason.
Yes I'm longing to see some reason in this thread too.
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:45 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Monica 56 View Post
A lot of very smart people argue that so called empty space is replete in energy and this will act as the springboard for our next technological jump .
Naturally those whose money and power is built on more conventional power and propulsion sources will do everything and more to ensure a smooth transition to this new level when it suits and profits them and only them .
What a bizarre position. BIG something is suppressing something. You claim that you know what that is, yet you cannot identify what that is, nor what is being suppressed.

OK, Leprechauns are being suppressed because they have gold and the Illuminatti want that gold at the end of the end of the rainbow.

Prove me wrong.

And somehow, you think that such absurdities are valid.

Check in with Vlad, why not. He may provide a better strategy.

Because the one you are using now is unbelievably useless.
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:49 AM   #27
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Because it's pHiLoSoPhY and therefore isn't bound by our stodgy expectations of making sense or being meaningful.
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:50 AM   #28
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Have we got to "What do you mean, mean?" yet?
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Old 27th May 2021, 10:11 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Because it's pHiLoSoPhY and therefore isn't bound by our stodgy expectations of making sense or being meaningful.
I certainly would not chuck out philosophy per se. There is a hatload of decent philosophy out there to be read and understood. I am glad of it.

What puts an onion in my ointment is that, for example is the stupid solipsists, who insist nothing is actually real, yet act as though everything is real while insisting that it is not.

Why do they pay their taxes? Look both ways when crossing the street? Take out insurance policies? Get up in the morning?

Let loose, it makes more sense to commit suicide so that one gets to god quicker. Except suicide is a "sin". And thus one gets to the inevitable conclusion that such borked thinking accepts because "RELIGION".

One only need to look at Andrea Yeats. She was willing to take the hit of eternal hell for murdering her five kids. The kids would be innocent and she took upon herself the guilt of child murder and destination hell for her, but at least her children would be on the fast track to heaven.
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Old 27th May 2021, 10:20 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
I certainly would not chuck out philosophy per se. There is a hatload of decent philosophy out there to be read and understood. I am glad of it.
This will immediately dissolve into semantics but... I sorta kinda disagree, but cards on the table it's largely a difference of definition.

There was a quip that Zach Weinersmith made/shared on his Twitter a few days ago that said; paraphrased; that nothing exciting ever happens in chemistry because if anything exciting happens in chemistry it's classified as biology. (Or something to that effect, I can't find the Tweet I'm remembering)

I sort of feel the same way about philosophy. Nothing intellectually meaningful ever happens in philosophy because if it does it's no longer philosophy, it's science.

Philosophy always declares itself the winner of everything by defining itself so broadly as to be meaningless. All thought, all thought about thought, all thoughts about thoughts about thoughts, etc are "A type of philosophy" which is why all arguments with the Philosophy Fan Club always involve the "You can't criticize philosophy because what you are doing is a type of philosophy because everything is philosophy because some philosopher once said so" argument.

At this point regardless of what it is via technical dictionary definition, what it used to be, what is was meant to be, or what it is intended to be, Philosophy now on a functional level nearly never raises above the level "labeling and categorizing all the wrongness and trying to pretend that makes them all valid alternative forms of rightness."
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Old 27th May 2021, 10:39 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I had a dream last night in which I was having a discussion with my ex philosophy teacher. She said nothing exists and gave the name of a philosopher as a reference to that viewpoint. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name.
Does anyone know of a philosopher who held that view?

I said in the dream, I exist because I think therefore I am, and my mind is not capable of creating all that I perceive. But I do believe that Gods mind is capable of sustaining creation and the laws of physics that support everything we observe. However everything is an illusion, and it is not what it appears to be to our senses.
I'm pretty sure that was an episode of Young Sheldon this season.
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:13 AM   #32
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And I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine

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Old 27th May 2021, 11:22 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
There was a quip that Zach Weinersmith made/shared on his Twitter a few days ago that said; paraphrased; that nothing exciting ever happens in chemistry because if anything exciting happens in chemistry it's classified as biology. (Or something to that effect, I can't find the Tweet I'm remembering)

I sort of feel the same way about philosophy. Nothing intellectually meaningful ever happens in philosophy because if it does it's no longer philosophy, it's science.
I ******* love that. I'll try to remember it.
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:23 AM   #34
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Gorgias, the first and most famous nihilist, supposedly said that nothing exists, but if did we could not know it, and even if we knew it we could not communicate it.

It sounds a little like Giuliani explaining Trump. It didn't happen but if it did it would be legal, and even if it wasn't legal it was permissible....etc.

Gorgias was a sophist, and in a way his argument has that perverse logic. Since you cannot explain the inexplicable, the argument itself must come short if it isn't false.

Likewise, trying to explain or prove anything by referring it to something whose very nature transcends explanation is, while a win for the faithful, just kicking the can down the road.
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:25 AM   #35
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My standard experiment of "Throwing a rock at your head to see if you still duck" also applies here. This is a wonderful tool against solipsists, "Cause and effect" deniers, and pacifists.
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:29 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I had a dream last night in which I was having a discussion with my ex philosophy teacher. She said nothing exists and gave the name of a philosopher as a reference to that viewpoint.
That's sad. I once had a dream involving Tia Carrere, and like a mix of Wayne World Tia Carrere and True Lies Tia Carrere so... yeah *makes the hot under the collar motion* and let me tell you it sounds like my dream was a lot better than yours.
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:38 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I once had a dream involving Tia Carrere
That sounds like a lovely dream.
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:48 AM   #38
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The obligatory link, for these types of threads, to the bomb 20 scene from "Dark Star" .


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Old 27th May 2021, 02:04 PM   #39
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Descartes argued that the only thing that we can be certain in is our own existence, or more precisely the existence of our self / our thoughts / consciousness.
Cōgitō ergō sum
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Old 27th May 2021, 02:23 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I had a dream last night in which I was having a discussion with my ex philosophy teacher. She said nothing exists and gave the name of a philosopher as a reference to that viewpoint. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name.
Does anyone know of a philosopher who held that view?

She told you that nothing exists? And then she told you to check some named philosopher? ... well, according to her she just told you that (a) the philosopher did not exist! ... and (b) she also just told you that she herself does not exist! ... in which case (c) she could not have told you anything! ...


Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I said in the dream, I exist because I think therefore I am, and my mind is not capable of creating all that I perceive. But I do believe that Gods mind is capable of sustaining creation and the laws of physics that support everything we observe. However everything is an illusion, and it is not what it appears to be to our senses.

If you say that you exist because of saying "I think, therefore I am", then you've got an immediate problem with that quote because it starts by assuming you do exist in the first place, i.e. it starts by saying " I think ...".

I don't doubt that we all exist. And I don't think we need the huge mess of a subject called "philosophy" to decide that of course we exist. And more than that - what is the reason to think that the universe which we detect, measure & explain through modern science, may not exist?

Just because our human senses cannot detect various parts of any energy spectrum. And just because various experiments that science devises, may have certain flaws that lead us to wrong conclusions occasionally (though, far more often they lead to conclusions that can be repeatedly tested and confirmed) ... that does not mean the world that we perceive either does not exist, or even that it's vastly different to the way our senses and our experiments reveal it to be ... why would you think otherwise?

And when you talk about God having a mind capable of sustaining creation etc. - where is the evidence for any such God?

So far, despite thousands of years of religious claims, no genuine evidence has ever been found for any god/God. Absolutely nothing at all. Zero.

On the other hand vast mountains of evidence have been found to show that in ancient times (and even still today) people (inc. all religious people over the ages) have always been wide open to believing and claiming all manner of untrue things ... especially in claims of miracles and the supernatural.

So there's unlimited piles of evidence to show the God beliefs were never true. But where is there any evidence to show that any God claim was ever true??
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