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Old 12th March 2020, 08:01 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
No one is arguing that it is, Brosef.



The argument here is that athiests want proof (or really lack of proof) of a god, within their own boundaries. A theist starts from the assumption that a god would be outside of those limited boundaries. So you are arguing at cross purposes right out of the gate.



When you find the edges of time and space and get a peek beyond, there will be more equal premises for this kind of argument. Till then, not so much.
No they don't (I assume in this day and age you could find an example of one that does but I think limiting ourselves to the major organised religions is fine for this type of discussion)
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:02 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Also, you just violated Rule 11 in the way you accuse your critics of doing.
Why is an analogy to dragons in the garage OT? Is it because the analogy is not exact or because it doesn't sound so silly?
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:04 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
No they don't (I assume in this day and age you could find an example of one that does but I think limiting ourselves to the major organised religions is fine for this type of discussion)
Evidence?
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:04 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Cutting out the direct addressing of the argument, then arguing as if it was never said, is not 'for brevity's sake'.
Yes it was, because your "addressing" of the argument was, as I just explained, irrelevant and pointless, so I cut it out. The point of the analogy is NOT to address belief, but the nature of the argument. That theists don't care about that is completely irrelevant.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:05 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which theists are these? The RCC even has a department that verifies the evidence of their god!
If we choose to refine the values down to specific religions or denominations, great. That will be a separate argument.

As the dragon-in-garage argument is against a vague 'god', presumably refuting the belief in undetectable supernatural entities, I feel no strong compulsion to argue anything more specific while atheists go fast and loose.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:06 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Evidence?
www.vatican.va

Pick your own language.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:07 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
If we choose to refine the values down to specific religions or denominations, great. That will be a separate argument.



As the dragon-in-garage argument is against a vague 'god', presumably refuting the belief in undetectable supernatural entities, I feel no strong compulsion to argue anything more specific while atheists go fast and loose.
Why argue about a god no one claims does exist?
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:08 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why argue about a god no one claims does exist?
'Cause it gets one's foot in the door.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:13 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Why is an analogy to dragons in the garage OT? Is it because the analogy is not exact or because it doesn't sound so silly?
Let's be clear. I don't think it is off topic. But you're the one arguing that various analogies are nominally off-topic for various reasons. Therefore you're the one who needs to suss out the contours and explain it. I think it's perfectly valid to drawn analogies among gods, aliens, and dragons. If you want to quibble with the fidelity or absurdity of any particular analogy, that's part of the exercise. But arguing that some particular analogy breaks the forum rules is another matter. Can we agree that arguing by analogy does not break Rule 11?
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:16 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes it was, because your "addressing" of the argument was, as I just explained, irrelevant and pointless, so I cut it out. The point of the analogy is NOT to address belief, but the nature of the argument. That theists don't care about that is completely irrelevant.
No, that's kind of the whole point. This is what you are not understanding, so snip out as 'irrelevant'.

Dragon-in-garage demonstrates a point very clearly to an atheist. It proves nothing (and is not analogous argument) to a theist, who starts with different premises.

The garage argument is a challenge to prove that something is there. Pretty easy to prove that something is in the space or not, yes? If nothing is found, one can conclude that there is no Invisible Dragon in the Garage. QED, and the atheist is quite self-satisfied.

The theist wonders what you have been smoking, and asks 'but my garage is the entirety of time and space and beyond. How could I possibly begin to search it?' It proves/analogizes nothing to him.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:18 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why argue about a god no one claims does exist?
The current discussion is on the validity of the dragon-in-garage argument. My argument is against the soundness of the argument itself, not the truth or lack thereof.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:18 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
'Cause it gets one's foot in the door.
Sadly this is true, the idea seem to then use the vagueness of this definition to try and pull the wool over the eyes of folk who think god means god....
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:19 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
The current discussion is on the validity of the dragon-in-garage argument. My argument is against the soundness of the argument itself, not the truth or lack thereof.
Then attack the soundness, you haven't actually done that yet.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:19 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why argue about a god no one claims does exist?
I think it was Abaddon who hit that one on the head. Decoupling the existential portion of the question from the denotational portion hamstrings the ontology. It denies the critic any rational basis for which to challenge purely abstract existential assertions. Of course that comes at the expense of making that outcome entirely tautological and therefore moot, but that can still be used rhetorically. Once the critic concedes that abstract existence is fait accomplit, the proponent then examines the denotation from an "established" beachhead -- the "foot in the door" you wrote while I was typing this. In more useful onotologies, you cannot separate existence and denotation.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:20 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
No, that's kind of the whole point. This is what you are not understanding, so snip out as 'irrelevant'.

Dragon-in-garage demonstrates a point very clearly to an atheist. It proves nothing (and is not analogous argument) to a theist, who starts with different premises.
But that's why your point was irrelevant: the point of Sagan's analogy is NOT to challenge the belief itself or the scope of the search parameters, but the ARGUMENT and how its constructed. You say so in the rest of your post, yourself.

Quote:
The theist wonders what you have been smoking, and asks 'but my garage is the entirety of time and space and beyond. How could I possibly begin to search it?'
Again, the theist, and yourself I surmise, are missing the point. The scope of the garage is irrelevant because where the argument for the dragon breaks down is in adding features that make it undetectable regardless of the size of the box you're looking in.

Besides, theists think god acts in our lives here and now, so the size of the universe is completely irrelevant, again.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:21 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
The current discussion is on the validity of the dragon-in-garage argument. My argument is against the soundness of the argument itself, not the truth or lack thereof.
What do you mean by soundness? For example, do you mean that it's unsound because a garage dragon is facially absurd at first blush? Or do you question the fidelity of the analogy to the argument it's supposed to recontextualize? Tell us where you're trying to go.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:38 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Dragon-in-garage demonstrates a point very clearly to an atheist. It proves nothing (and is not analogous argument) to a theist, who starts with different premises.
Do you mean to say it's not analogous because it departs from different premises? I'm not seeing your point.

Quote:
The garage argument is a challenge to prove that something is there. Pretty easy to prove that something is in the space or not, yes? If nothing is found, one can conclude that there is no Invisible Dragon in the Garage.
No, the point is to demonstrate the circular futility of asserting the existence of something that is assumed to be undetectable. The theist seems quite happy accepting the premise of blanket undetectability when it favors his beliefs, but then seems offended by whatever else that same structure of argument lets in the door.

Quote:
...'but my garage is the entirety of time and space and beyond. How could I possibly begin to search it?' It proves/analogizes nothing to him.
As others have pointed out, irrelevant. The gods whose existence people actually care about are purported to have local influence. The question of a dragon in my garage does not depend on whether other garages or other dragons exist outside my attention. It literally does not matter whether the observable local region in which the gods are said to have influence is contained in a much larger, largely unobservable space. If there is no evidence they exist in the space where their influence is said to apply, we don't have to wonder whether there is other evidence elsewhere, in places that don't affect us.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:39 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
The theist seems quite happy accepting the premise of blanket undetectability when it favors his beliefs, but then seems offended by whatever else that same structure of argument lets in the door.
The garage door.
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:51 AM   #99
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Again this is just another version of solipsism.

We can put the same effort into every question we ask, we just don't.

I'll entertain any excuse made in the God discussion as soon as they start actually (real world in organic not forced or after the fact ways) making them about everything.

No beer in the fridge? I want a total existential crisis over the definition of beer, of proving the non-existence of every possible non-provable cans of beer, I want people to just keeping making up new versions of beer and demanding we disprove them.

I want the God Botheres to start having the same crisises of faith about literally everything, and actually having them not just saying they do.

Because now all we have is "I get to just do this with this one concept and everyone has to pretend like that makes sense."
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Old 12th March 2020, 08:53 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
There are two problems (probably more) that I have with this analogy:
  1. "in the garage"
    This implies that the discussion is only about whether there are gods on Earth. This does not allow for the possibility that there may be gods elsewhere in the universe that choose not to have any interaction with this planet (despite what the believers might say). Then we would never know if they existed or not.
  2. "dragons"
    If the discussion was about a specific entity (eg Buddha) then "dragon" might be fair enough. But is you are only discussing gods in general, then it would be more apt to compare that with invisible entities in the garage.
But this is a strawman argument. The "invisible dragon" analogy rests on the supposition that there are enough similarities between the two proposals to make the one a useful analogy to the other, rather than the supposition that one is exactly like the other in every respect. Of course there are differences; given the propensity of some to re-define what they mean by "God" to exclude whatever specific argument has just been offered regardless of whether this contradicts an earlier definition advanced to exclude some other specific argument, it's logically impossible that they could be like each other all the time. This, though, is also included in the analogy by the possibility of re-defining "dragon" to suit whatever argument is required.

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Old 12th March 2020, 08:55 AM   #101
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Am I misremembering or is this tangent pulled from the same thread with the anecdote about the guy who believed his faith was responsible for a tank of gas lasting longer than he thought physically possible (shades of the original lamp oil that lasted a miraculous eight days)?

And later, in the throes of the garage dragon argument, the poster said they regretted bringing any such thing up, because it distracted from the point that you shouldn’t rule out a God that never detectably interacts with us?

This type of “How do you know these guys are wrong about God answering their prayers... Also what if God is outside time and space and doesn’t detectably interact with us... Also your garage dragon analogy is missing the point because we already decided you wouldn’t be able to detect God!!” stuff just... boggles my dang mind.

I mean, if you’re proposing a god that actually doesn’t interact at all then the garage dragon shouldn’t be annoying, it should be “yeah exactly like that, except I’m not kidding” and if you’re proposing a god that interacts but in carefully unprovable ways then you’ve got a God playing damn hide and seek with the whole concept of science and that doesn’t seem very dignified, not to mention it paints god into that corner where no documented amputee can ever have a limb restored no matter what. And they must carefully structure their interference to be indistinguishable from background noise if there are any studies going on. And that’s special pleading, and that’s the entire point of the garage dragon; it’s an illustration of special pleading.

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Old 12th March 2020, 09:03 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
No, that's kind of the whole point. This is what you are not understanding, so snip out as 'irrelevant'.

Dragon-in-garage demonstrates a point very clearly to an atheist. It proves nothing (and is not analogous argument) to a theist, who starts with different premises.

The garage argument is a challenge to prove that something is there. Pretty easy to prove that something is in the space or not, yes? If nothing is found, one can conclude that there is no Invisible Dragon in the Garage. QED, and the atheist is quite self-satisfied.

The theist wonders what you have been smoking, and asks 'but my garage is the entirety of time and space and beyond. How could I possibly begin to search it?' It proves/analogizes nothing to him.
There is no doubt that theists do not see the analogy, but nonetheless the analogy fully applies.

Most importantly I can describe a species of invisible dragon that would be impossible to detect in a garage: very tiny, shy, swift, quiet, elusive, etc. How can you prove my dragon doesn't live in my garage, just like a believer's god in the universe?

Further the gods in many theologies are invested with specific traits that would make them detectable if they existed. Many forms of Christianity believe in the effectiveness of intercessional prayers (not that they always work of course). However actual studies demonstrate the results of intercessory prayers are no different from random. This doesn't rule out a god but it does rule out the specific type of god in which these sects believe, yet the theology, and the number of intercessory prayers, does not change.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:11 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
But this is a strawman argument. The "invisible dragon" analogy rests on the supposition that there are enough similarities between the two proposals to make the one a useful analogy to the other, rather than the supposition that one is exactly like the other in every respect. Of course there are differences; given the propensity of some to re-define what they mean by "God" to exclude whatever specific argument has just been offered regardless of whether this contradicts an earlier definition advanced to exclude some other specific argument, it's logically impossible that they could be like each other all the time. This, though, is also included in the analogy by the possibility of re-defining "dragon" to suit whatever argument is required.

Dave
Exactly. The argument is only that my belief there is an invisible dragon in my garage is no different from a theologist's belief that there is an invisible god in the universe. The theologist has set up a non-disprovable entity in the same way I have set up a non-disprovable dragon. On that basis the theologist has no reason to deny my belief if they accept their own belief
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:22 AM   #104
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People do know that the definition of strawman isn't "It makes my opinion/stance/argument/belief look bad and I don't like it" right?

Nobody else say "bUt tHAts a starwman!" until they, in plain English, give me an argument for God that doesn't work for the dragon that, and this is the important part, isn't special pleading.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:24 AM   #105
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Some people are taking it pretty selectively literally if they think the size of the garage matters. I guess they’re seeing it like the difference between saying there’s an undetectable needle in.... This shoebox! VS an undetectable needle in the WHOLE UNIVERSE!! It’s not silly to say there could be an undetectable needle somewhere in the universe; the universe is so big, so you can’t check everywhere to see whether there’s an undetectable needle or not (and what if it’s outside the universe??) Whereas it’s clearly silly to say there’s an undetectable needle in this shoebox because you can see and feel inside this whole shoebox! If an undetectable needle was in there you’d be able to detect it easily!

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Old 12th March 2020, 09:24 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
www.vatican.va

Pick your own language.
Any particular part you wanted me to look at? A quick search uncovered the following bit:
God's action, however, is not exhausted in his lordship over history; he is also the King of creation: the whole universe responds to his call as Creator. Not only does he determine the boundless constellations of stars, but he names each one and hence defines its nature and characteristics (cf. Ps 147[146]: 4).
But I doubt that this is what you were thinking of.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:29 AM   #107
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Even though I read Sagan's book (a long time ago) I thought the standard reference was an "invisible pink unicorn". Not sure where I got that from.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:31 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
There is no doubt that theists do not see the analogy, but nonetheless the analogy fully applies.
It does. But the debate over applicability is meant to reveal either disparity in the parties' understanding of each other's argument, or the flaws in either argument itself. "That's a poor analogy because..." (or, conversely, "This analogy holds because...") are the conduits for focusing to the essence of a claim shorn of its assumptions and prejudices. What follows "because" in either case is often very helpful. "Your analogy violates the forum rules," is just about the worst offer that I can think of. That just demonizes the approach, so as not to have to address the merits.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:31 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Even though I read Sagan's book (a long time ago) I thought the standard reference was an "invisible pink unicorn". Not sure where I got that from.
There's a few different versions of essentially the same concept; the unicorn, the teapot, the dragon.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:35 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
But this is a strawman argument. The "invisible dragon" analogy rests on the supposition that there are enough similarities between the two proposals to make the one a useful analogy to the other, rather than the supposition that one is exactly like the other in every respect. Of course there are differences; given the propensity of some to re-define what they mean by "God" to exclude whatever specific argument has just been offered regardless of whether this contradicts an earlier definition advanced to exclude some other specific argument, it's logically impossible that they could be like each other all the time. This, though, is also included in the analogy by the possibility of re-defining "dragon" to suit whatever argument is required.

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I'm sorry but "rough enough is good enough" doesn't quite cut it for me. The notion that anything outside of a confined space is irrelevant or that it doesn't count unless it is a specific being means that the analogy doesn't invite inferences that may apply to the more general concept.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:42 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
...means that the analogy doesn't invite inferences that may apply to the more general concept.
We don't care about inferences that apply to some suddenly generalized version of the proposal, especially when the proposal is made general only to avoid helpful analogies. Pick your poison: either your proposal is so general and abstract as to be effectively moot, or the proposal can be analogized in ways that have the potential to display its flaws.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:42 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I'm sorry but "rough enough is good enough" doesn't quite cut it for me. The notion that anything outside of a confined space is irrelevant or that it doesn't count unless it is a specific being means that the analogy doesn't invite inferences that may apply to the more general concept.
How about an invisible infinitesimally small dragon in my garage versus a god in an infinite universe? Is there any difference mathematically or theologically? Because the dragon in my garage happens to be infinitesimally tiny. Note that the universe is not really infinite, although I suppose you might propose infinite parallel universes for god to hid in.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:48 AM   #113
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This thread will probably not rival the ECREE thread, but it's starting off with similar potential. In several months, maybe one skeptic can be nominated to propose certain points on behalf of the group, and we can isolate that debate to a virtual garage 1-on-1 debate thread.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:48 AM   #114
Giordano
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I'm sorry but "rough enough is good enough" doesn't quite cut it for me. The notion that anything outside of a confined space is irrelevant or that it doesn't count unless it is a specific being means that the analogy doesn't invite inferences that may apply to the more general concept.
In addition to my infinitesimal/infinite argument above, the math doesn't really matter. It is the undetectability of the elusive dragon and god that generates the parallelism in the inability to disprove them. Perhaps my dragon is a millimeter long! But it is invisible, emits no heat (pilot light burned out a long time ago), makes no sound, moves rapidly away if stalked, etc. It is undetectable. Perhaps for different reasons than "your" god, but the result is the same. You can't prove I don't have a dragon in my garage so my theology is as firm as yours.

Of course you realize the special pleading too because other than gods humans rarely believe in things that cannot be detected in one way or another.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:49 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I'm sorry but "rough enough is good enough" doesn't quite cut it for me.
Of course not. Otherwise you'd have to address the actual argument rather than complain that dragons are not quite exactly like gods.

But your argument here is ridiculous. It effectively makes ALL analogies moot because none of them are exactly like the thing they illustrate. If they were exactly the same, they wouldn't be analogies.

It's just a distraction.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:52 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
How about an invisible infinitesimally small dragon in my garage versus a god in an infinite universe?
No. It is the "anything outside of this space is irrelevant" idea that the garage analogy invites that makes it less than useful. An invisible dragon in my back yard would surely be just as astonishing (or silly) as one in my garage.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:53 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Of course you realize the special pleading too because other than gods humans rarely believe in things that cannot be detected in one way or another.
On the contrary, humans most strongly held beliefs are in abstract concepts. Love and justice spring to mind.
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Old 12th March 2020, 09:56 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Of course not. Otherwise you'd have to address the actual argument rather than complain that dragons are not quite exactly like gods.
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Old 12th March 2020, 10:06 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
No. It is the "anything outside of this space is irrelevant" idea that the garage analogy invites that makes it less than useful. An invisible dragon in my back yard would surely be just as astonishing (or silly) as one in my garage.
I don't think you are seeing the mathematics of this and the reciprocity of infinitesimal entity vs infinite space to search for them.
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Old 12th March 2020, 10:07 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Are gods like "invisible dragons in the garage"?

No, apparently not. I think that the garage is the place where you would put your prodigal sons and people like that. God appears to be more like a tapeworm or maybe the coronavirus: The dwelling place of God - God is jealous for our spirit and wants to make us His dwelling place again. How does He do this? (activechristianity.org) I ask myself the same question!

And I have no idea what this is supposed to mean:

Quote:
A dwelling place of God

It is the work of the Spirit of God to build us up to be a dwelling place of God. Read Ephesians 2:19-22: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

But it doesn't sound anywhere near an invisible dragon to me. It sounds more like what they did to Jimmy Hoffa ...
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