Author Topic: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.  (Read 13849 times)

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Offline relativetruth

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #899 on: March 25, 2015, 08:10:09 AM »
PB

Do animals also have a separate mind and brain?
God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline relativetruth

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #900 on: March 25, 2015, 08:33:01 AM »
PB

When does the non-physical mind get attached to the physical brain?

Is it at conception? At birth?

 Or after you get out of your teens?  :)
God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #901 on: March 25, 2015, 01:47:17 PM »
Once again, are you saying that the mind and the brain are identical? Further, you still seem to suppose that there is absolutely no possible way that a non-physical mind could interact with a physical brain. This is an assertion that you cannot support.

Do you understand that the brain is material and the mind is chemical and electrical, and that both the brain and mind are physical? When you say non-physical, what exactly do you mean? If you are claiming that something nonmaterial and nonenergetic can interact with the chemistry and electricity of the brain, you need to go back to school to learn how much physics and chemistry that violates.

Physical structures are not capable of rational thought.

Says you.

Quote
Rational thought requires thinking in accordance with laws of logic which exist independent of human thought. It would be an unbelievable coincidence that we evolved a brain that functioned in a completely determined way that just happened to align with the independent laws of logic.

Can you tell the difference between a conceptual tool and external reality? Logic is a conceptual tool, and it is not universally valid in the universe, nor universally complete and consistent, nor independent of invention by thought. Even the basic definitions have to be fudged to make it useful, such as the set which contains other sets.
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Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #902 on: March 25, 2015, 02:45:56 PM »
Once again, are you saying that the mind and the brain are identical? Further, you still seem to suppose that there is absolutely no possible way that a non-physical mind could interact with a physical brain. This is an assertion that you cannot support.

Do you understand that the brain is material and the mind is chemical and electrical, and that both the brain and mind are physical? When you say non-physical, what exactly do you mean? If you are claiming that something nonmaterial and nonenergetic can interact with the chemistry and electricity of the brain, you need to go back to school to learn how much physics and chemistry that violates.

First, please read my main argument here (third post from the bottom) where I list five reasons why the mental states are not physical. Second, as I have also said prior, physics and chemistry is about interactions between physical entities and cannot be applied to interactions between non-physical and physical entities. 


Rational thought requires thinking in accordance with laws of logic which exist independent of human thought. It would be an unbelievable coincidence that we evolved a brain that functioned in a completely determined way that just happened to align with the independent laws of logic.

Can you tell the difference between a conceptual tool and external reality? Logic is a conceptual tool, and it is not universally valid in the universe, nor universally complete and consistent, nor independent of invention by thought. Even the basic definitions have to be fudged to make it useful, such as the set which contains other sets.

You do not accept the existence of abstract objects such as propositions, properties, relations or minds. I have provided reasons to the contrary, at least pertaining to the mind. Please engage my arguments with counterarguments if you disagree and not simply assertions.




Offline epidemic

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #903 on: March 25, 2015, 02:48:34 PM »
PB,

I am guessing you are kinda relating the soul to being your will.  Once again I will ask the question,

If there is a soul / will  that is supernatural and has an impact on your physical mind, why can we modify it chemically or mechanically?  I can take a wonderful god fearing person who lives and breaths their faith in Jesus and turn them into an angry, violent, sociopathic killer by injuring the right part of the brain.  I can make you happy or angry with physical modifications, stimulation or changes to brain chemistry. 

I can make you happy, sad, angry, love or hate by purely medical means or through injury.  Hell I bet I could even make you move your foot when you want to move your hand given enough Surgical skill and technology. 

What does the supernatural separate soul/will have to do with it?

If there was a separate Soul/Will how would this work how do chemicals and mechanical changes to the brain modify will?

Offline Defiance

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #904 on: March 25, 2015, 02:58:45 PM »
Non-physical, huh.

So we have energy, which is physical (photons), which acts on matter (physical).

And then you're saying there's a thing that's not physical, yet acts on matter.

Evidence. Now. I'm getting real sick of your derailment. This is where it ends; you present evidence for your hooey that acts on physical things, then we talk.

On topic: present evidence for your god. Next post of yours that address the "will" gets a report. Discuss it elsewhere.

Sorry (but not) for the hostility.

Once again, here is a basic template:

"The evidence for my specific god is ________."

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_evidence
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 03:01:18 PM by Defiance »
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

Offline eh!

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #905 on: March 25, 2015, 03:15:43 PM »
^ way to kill an argument with a pseudo-intellectual arm-chair philosophising theist.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #906 on: March 25, 2015, 03:21:55 PM »
PB,

I am guessing you are kinda relating the soul to being your will.  Once again I will ask the question,

If there is a soul / will  that is supernatural and has an impact on your physical mind, why can we modify it chemically or mechanically?  I can take a wonderful god fearing person who lives and breaths their faith in Jesus and turn them into an angry, violent, sociopathic killer by injuring the right part of the brain.  I can make you happy or angry with physical modifications, stimulation or changes to brain chemistry. 

I can make you happy, sad, angry, love or hate by purely medical means or through injury.  Hell I bet I could even make you move your foot when you want to move your hand given enough Surgical skill and technology. 

What does the supernatural separate soul/will have to do with it?

If there was a separate Soul/Will how would this work how do chemicals and mechanical changes to the brain modify will?

First, I prefer to use non-physical or immaterial instead of supernatural and mind instead of soul. While I think the terms are equivalent, the latter have more religious baggage which can easily distract from or cloud the main argument especially on this forum.

Second, I distinguish mental states (i.e. willing an action) from the mind. Mental states (such as being in pain) are specific properties of the mind (an immaterial substance). Similarly, brain states (such as synapse x, y and z firing) are particular properties of the brain.

Third, brain states and mental states are separate but correlative and causal entities. Brain states affect mental states and mental states affect brain states. I have provided reasons for this in prior posts. How this interaction occurs is unknown; however, given the reasons I have provided in this thread, it is plausible that an interaction occurs.




Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #907 on: March 25, 2015, 03:44:53 PM »
Alright, PB, cut to the chase for a non-philosopher. Your speculations about the mind are far afield from demonstrating the existence of god. Can you do that? Demonstrate a god? Yes or no.

Assuming in advance that your answer will be some version of no, and in the interests of saving time:

What is the mind, exactly? Do other animals (other than humans) have minds?
Where does it reside when interacting with the brain of a person?
How is it maintained without an energy source?
Where does it reside when the person dies or before they are born?
Are people in control of their minds, and if so, how?
If people are not in control of their minds, who is responsible for human actions?
And finally, what is your evidence, other than you saying so, that any of this is true? How do you know any of this?

I hope you do realize that this stuff is not supported in any way by neuroscience research. If any of this separate mind stuff was true, brain research would be consistently showing it, instead of consistently showing other things. I know you will say that neuroscience is physical research, but until you give us some non-physical way to find out anything, that is all we got.

As the Muslims say, if you have no water, wash with sand. Got any water?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline eh!

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #908 on: March 25, 2015, 03:49:49 PM »
"Second, I distinguish mental states (i.e. willing an action) from the mind. Mental states (such as being in pain) are specific properties of the mind (an immaterial substance). Similarly, brain states (such as synapse x, y and z firing) are particular properties of the brain"

oh good we have a testable hypothesis, now all PB has to do is demonstrate mental states existing in the absence of neuron activity. may I suggest PB deprive his own brain of oxygen in a controlled manner and proceed to describe his mental states and use his will to type the result in situ, an ECG while doing this will strengthen his claim.

have at it PB.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #909 on: March 25, 2015, 04:13:41 PM »
Once again, are you saying that the mind and the brain are identical? Further, you still seem to suppose that there is absolutely no possible way that a non-physical mind could interact with a physical brain. This is an assertion that you cannot support.

Do you understand that the brain is material and the mind is chemical and electrical, and that both the brain and mind are physical? When you say non-physical, what exactly do you mean? If you are claiming that something nonmaterial and nonenergetic can interact with the chemistry and electricity of the brain, you need to go back to school to learn how much physics and chemistry that violates.

First, please read my main argument here (third post from the bottom) where I list five reasons why the mental states are not physical.

First, I prefer to use non-physical or immaterial instead of supernatural and mind instead of soul. While I think the terms are equivalent, the latter have more religious baggage which can easily distract from or cloud the main argument especially on this forum.

Your main argument only lists categories. A chemical and electrical process fits the definition of mind in any of these categories. If you have in "mind" a different explanation of what the mind is, you need to be clearer since non-physical does not mean immaterial. Do you also mean an immaterial and energyless soul?

Quote
Second, as I have also said prior, physics and chemistry is about interactions between physical entities and cannot be applied to interactions between non-physical and physical entities.

I am not sure that you understand what physical and non-physical mean. I certainly have no idea what you mean.

I am also wondering why you would want to claim that souls exist since Judaism and early Christianity did not accept these pagan beliefs. According to Saul's letters resurrection had to be in a body, although different.

Quote
Rational thought requires thinking in accordance with laws of logic which exist independent of human thought. It would be an unbelievable coincidence that we evolved a brain that functioned in a completely determined way that just happened to align with the independent laws of logic.

Can you tell the difference between a conceptual tool and external reality? Logic is a conceptual tool, and it is not universally valid in the universe, nor universally complete and consistent, nor independent of invention by thought. Even the basic definitions have to be fudged to make it useful, such as the set which contains other sets.

You do not accept the existence of abstract objects such as propositions, properties, relations or minds. I have provided reasons to the contrary, at least pertaining to the mind. Please engage my arguments with counterarguments if you disagree and not simply assertions.

I guess that you don't understand that the universe disagrees with you. Do you know why the definition of the set of sets has to be fudged? It is because you cannot say much unless you make a set of sets possible by defining it in a suitable way. This is important because it underlies the property of implication, but a side effect in logic is that a circular argument is always considered logically valid, even though it is meaningless and does not relate to reality. A unicorn is a unicorn, is a valid logical statement because the definition of set of sets has been fudged by people.

If you compare logic to reality the two do not always match. Human logic is only one arbitrary fudging of the definitions. In quantum mechanics some of the logical properties which you take for granted do not exist. Even something as simple as ordering of sets can go wrong. So don't assume that your version of logic explains everything.
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Offline shnozzola

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #910 on: March 25, 2015, 04:21:53 PM »
While it seems many of us find this debate engaging, if not swaying, I think out of respect for Defiance's thread, and GB's instructions per quantum mechanics on the last page, we should start a new thread, and I believe it is fitting that PhilosoB start it with a summation of his position (in as much layman's terms as possible).  OK?
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Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #911 on: March 25, 2015, 04:34:21 PM »
^^ That can be done but will require a little time. I will try to simplify as much as I can though this topic requires some specific language.

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #912 on: March 25, 2015, 04:35:36 PM »
^^ That can be done but will require a little time. I will try to simplify as much as I can though this topic requires some specific language.

Specifically vague, or specifically clear?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #913 on: March 25, 2015, 04:38:51 PM »
I have a longer post in the works, but I'm getting that stupid 404 error and don't have time to track it down right now.

However, I do want to take a moment to address one of PhilosoB's underlying assumptions.  Namely, that by showing that mental states are not identical to brain states, it somehow demonstrates that substance dualism is correct.  This is a false assumption.  It is like saying that since a computer's operating system isn't identical to the data on the hard drive, that it means there must be a "virtual substance" that the operating system is actually made of, rather than it being made of physical matter.  What actually happens is that the computer loads the operating system's program code into memory, and runs it off of that.  On top of that, the computer regularly references data on the hard drive, such as when a new program is started, and loads it into memory as well.

So, the operating system utilizes the hard drive, the RAM, the CPU, the addressing bus, and all the other components of the computer in order to run the operating system, display it on the screen, and accept input from the keyboard and mouse.  And furthermore, the parameters of the virtual environment are fully contained in physical memory.  What this means is that the virtual environment generated by the operating system is entirely physical.  There is no 'virtual' substance that it is made out of.  Because of this, the virtual environment displayed by the computer is not limited; it can be reconfigured by the operating system on the fly, and as such we can do a lot of stuff that would, frankly, be impossible in the real world.

The point of this is to illustrate why there is no basis for assuming that since mental states are not identical to brain states, that the mind must be made out of some kind of "mental substance".  The brain contains around 100 billion neurons, with as much as a quadrillion (a billion billion) synaptic connections between them.  Its capacity is conservatively in the terabyte range and could even be in the low petabyte range.  This is far more capable than even the best modern computer, although that might change in the next few decades.  But one point is that we can already generate complex virtual environments using computers, so it is not surprising that the brain (which is still much more powerful) could generate mental environments that operate on the same principle.

Another point to consider is that with computer programs, just because they are written in a deterministic format does not mean that the program is deterministic or even linear once it has begun running.  To the point of view of an entity within the computer program, it might be very non-deterministic even though the underlying code is fully deterministic.  In fact, if you wrote up a heuristic (self-learning) program and let it loose in such an environment, the exact route it would take would not be especially predictable even though its goals would be very predictable.  If you copied the computer program into a dozen different computers, and copied the heuristic program into each computer, you would end up with a dozen different paths through the program.  The point being that it's not really all that difficult to end up with a non-deterministic result even if everything you use to put it together is deterministic.

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #914 on: March 25, 2015, 04:48:06 PM »
I was getting that error with my last reply to your arguments. I had to split it into two posts.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #915 on: March 25, 2015, 04:49:51 PM »
I think at this point I'm going to wait until the post gets split off, and maybe just rewrite it entirely.  I sometimes do that where I get a full post written and then discard it after I think for a while.

Offline eh!

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #916 on: March 25, 2015, 04:52:09 PM »
PB, a brain deprived of oxygen and neuron activity maintains a perfectly functioning mind.

YES OR NO.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #917 on: March 25, 2015, 04:57:10 PM »
Philo, I could also have mentioned that any logical system can be proved by Goedels Theorem to lead to nonsense and worse still, you will not know when you have entered the realm of nonsense. In other words logic and worldviews are a waste of time. The most useful concepts ultimately are piecemeal, contradictory and based on evidence.

So where is your evidence?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #918 on: March 25, 2015, 07:36:05 PM »
PhilosoB:  If I might make a suggestion, not everyone here reads up on philosophy.  Try to keep some links handy so when you bring up some philosophical term, you can link to it.

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #919 on: March 25, 2015, 08:31:38 PM »
PhilosoB:  If I might make a suggestion, not everyone here reads up on philosophy.  Try to keep some links handy so when you bring up some philosophical term, you can link to it.

I've only read Plato and things attributed to him. Actually have his entire known written (that which is published) collection. The Republic is my favorite. Read it about once a year.

He's using a lot of Platoisms (Philosophy_of_MindWiki) but he may be a student of PaulicianismWiki (probably not) or something similar.

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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #920 on: March 26, 2015, 05:20:21 AM »
Rational thought requires thinking in accordance with laws of logic which exist independent of human thought. It would be an unbelievable coincidence that we evolved a brain that functioned in a completely determined way that just happened to align with the independent laws of logic.

Most people find logic difficult to learn and use as a conceptual tool so it is not true to say that the human brain has evolved in perfect alignment with this conceptual tool. How many people find mathematical definitions and proofs easy?

Most people who have ever lived, have not used logic as a conceptual tool to discover what is true. They have used an emotional or social definition of what is true. Religion is a social definition of what is true not a logical one. Occasionally people have tried to prove that their social definitions of religion are also logically true, but there is no valid logical argument which supports any religion, nor one which favours one religion above any other.

So, Philo, if you think logic is important why are you not an agnostic, which is the most logical starting position?

Atheism depends on knowing how stuff works, and how religions were invented. So you would need to know how Yahweh was a composite god constructed from the attributes of El and Baal.

Saying that you think logic is an independent method of arriving at what is true, and at the same time believing a religion which is a social defintion of what is true, is a contradiction. So Philo, why are you not agnostic? Do you admit that you are not thinking logically?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 05:22:42 AM by Foxy Freedom »
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Offline Defiance

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #921 on: Yesterday at 07:57:24 AM »
Wait a stinking minute, I never got a response to this:

Following quotes are from Dennis.

Quote
My beliefs are based on a worldview.
And is also true the other way around. Because of what you believe, you have a certain point of view of the world.

EX: "God is real. He does things on Earth. Science can't explain those."

Quote
You need to change my worldview if you want me to believe differently.

How do you suppose I do that? The burden of proof is on the positive claim. I cannot change your believe because that would require me to prove a negative; for example, god(s) is/aren't real.

That is like saying "Prove to me that the Zeus doesn't exist." Well, I can't because there is no such direct evidence that allows me to say with 100% certainty that Zeus is definitely not real, simply because there is no..umm..."negative" evidence of his existence.

But, we can however, look at our current knowledge and say how certain we are. FOr example, because of our current, verifiable, testable knowledge of science, I can say "Hmm, it is very, very, very unlikely that such beings exist, because they would violate these laws that we hold to be almost 100% certain.

Don't count this a as a victory for your god, I basically said your god has the same probability of being as real as EVERY SINGLE imaginary, non-real thing EVER. Please, don't attempt to twist my words.

Quote
I arrived at that worldview after years and years and years of reading, thinking, studying, praying, denying, believing etc. DECADES in fact.

Good on you. However, let's scratch out "praying" and "believing". I respect your studying and thinking.

Praying, once again, has zero evidence for it. You may check out the original arguments of http://godisimaginary.com/

That is website from which I found this forum. It makes a pretty nice argument against prayer.

Believing, again...it doesn't matter. What does matter is the evidence. If you provide evidence, as this entire thread is built upon, you will definitely, and I truly hold this to be true, see extensive peer reviewing of it.

After that, even if your evidence is found to be rejected, you will have the respect of many here, or at least mine. Evidence, evidence.

if it's found that your evidence fits your claim, and that a grand case for a god is made, you might even earn a darn Nobel Prize. Seriously. And even a million dollars http://web.randi.org/the-million-dollar-challenge.html

And what is wrong with evidence? Nothing, Dennis, nothing. If you see that your evidence doesn't fit, there is no need to be upset. You would have successfully followed the Scientific Method, and may review your mistakes and start over. That is the beauty of the method; it eliminated mistakes to the best of its ability. That alone would earn you much respect.

But, evidence must first be brought.

Quote
If you think I should change my worldview based on (mostly) a few snarky one liners and a few paragraphs of insults, you have a long wait ahead of you.

Dennis, my challenge has been here since June. I have made clear what I want to see here, evidence, science.

Why am I so obsessed with science, you might say? Because it brings us the most viable solutions to problems. It helps us eliminate our biases. It separates personals feelings from what is reality.

Theists don't seem to understand this. Their BEST hope to PROVE a god, is science itself. It will be able to separate personal feelings from their belief, leaving behind the reality. So why is it that you don't do this?

I request that you use science, use evidence, to prove that god exists. If you do, I will have no reason for snarks. If you need help with the Scientific Method, go ahead and make a post in "Science", I and many of my peers will be happy to help.

Quote
Sadly, I can't get anyone to discuss worldviews because most deny that they have one. The consensus is (I paraphrase) that we make up the truth on the evidence available at the time. Now that is a a worldview in itself, but not if it is denied.

I sincerely think that atheists say that because atheism is nothing but the non-belief in gods. There is no other meaning to it. It does not specify a "world view".

Because of this, an atheist can also be a pessimist, while another can be overly-optimistic about everything. There is no set in stone world view related to atheism.

When you use evidence to come to a "truth", or a conclusion, you have demonstrated basic science. If science is a worldview, then so be it.

Quote
I would have thought you'd have more respect for arriving at a position and defending the intellectual integrity of that position because the 'objections' haven't offered anything new.

I am pointing out the lack of reality in your "belief". I am pointing out the lack of evidence. I am pointing out the high level of feelings and subjectivity in your "belief".

I, once again, implore you to use the Scientific Method to eliminate the feelings from the reality. If you do this successfully, you yourself will see the actual reality of the situation, and not anything that was a product of feelings and such.

Good day.

As for Philo, evidence is nowhere to be seen.
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

Offline junebug72

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #922 on: Yesterday at 08:24:05 AM »
921 posts, are they getting close Defiance?
LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER...ALBERT EINSTEIN

Offline Defiance

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #923 on: Yesterday at 05:41:17 PM »
921 posts, are they getting close Defiance?
Philo seems intelligent... and I thought Dennis would at least attempt.

But no. :(
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #924 on: Today at 03:07:57 AM »
Theists; why does (insert name of your god/goddess) even require you to prove it exists?! We don't have the same problem with the Sun or water, but we do with (insert name of your god/goddess).

There is only one explanation for this; your god is imaginary.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Online Graybeard

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Re: Challenge to any theist to prove existence of god.
« Reply #925 on: Today at 05:35:41 AM »
Susmariosep posted the following in a 2¾ year old thread. To save arguments about resurrection of the dead, I have moved it here. The original thread in which the post appeared can be found by following the link in Jetson's Admin note.

GB
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Quote from: jetson on July 21, 2012, 07:33:46 AM

    Susmariosep is being moderated for his replies and posts.  You will not see his replies until a moderator approves it.  Please be patient!

    Jetson


====================

I am here again because I decided to return in order to learn from atheists.

Here is my observation for today.

Atheists have two false principles of knowledge, namely: (1) the burden of proof is on the party making an affirmative statement, (2) a negative statement cannot be proven.

On these two false principles they can feel safe from saying anything positive at all, wherefore it is impossible to have any productive discourse with them.

Although granting (yet not conceding) for the sake of argument that the party making an affirmative statement has the burden of proof, nevertheless the party rejecting the affirmative statement must explain why he rejects, otherwise he is not being intelligent and logical hence not rational if he just insists that he has no burden to prove, but he is being arbitrary i.e. without any reasonable basis whatever in rejecting the affirmative statement.

Is the demand for explanation why an atheist denies the existence of something the same as the demand for proof?

In regard to the existence of something as opposite to the non-existence of something, for example, the existence of God as opposed to the non-existence of God, there is the distinction of possibility and actuality.

So, as the atheist need not prove the existence of God because he does not bear the burden for not making an affirmative claim, still he must explain why: by pointing out that the very concept of God forecloses the possibility of the existence of God.

That is why the atheist must have at least information on the concept of God, which concept then he can and must explain to be a concept that forecloses the possibility itself of existence.

On the other hand, the theist must explain that his concept of God does not foreclose the existence of God, and then from the possibility of the concept the theist must present evidence proving the fact of the existence of God.

Now, in regard to the atheists' insistence that a negative statement cannot be proven, and therefore they need not prove a negative statement, that is a wrong idea if they atheists do not specify that it is impossible for man to know everything existing in all time and place circumstances, and in particular in the totality of existence -- which concept of the totality of existence is broader than the concept of the material universe that is investigated by scientists.

For example. atheists can reasonably insist that it is impossible for man to know the totality of existence as to ascertain that there is no God in the totality of existence, for atheists being humans cannot search exhaustively the totality of existence at all.

That is why they atheists cannot justify their denial of the existence of God by resorting to their wrong idea that man cannot prove a negative statement: for he can if he can search the totality of existence and has not come to meet God in the totality of existence.

Man can always and must always prove the non-existence of something as long as the circumstances of time and space and the sphere of existence are within his access; for example, man can prove the absence of water (that is a negative statement) in a drinking glass, by physical examination of the drinking glass and also requiring his opponents to physically examine the drinking glass.

Conclusion:

Atheists cannot resort to their false ideas that

(1) they do not have any burden at all even just to explain why they reject the existence of God, unless they first present their concept of God and show that it is an impossible concept.

(2) They cannot excuse themselves that they need not prove a negative statement for it is impossible to prove a negative statement; that is not true in all context of discourse, because they can and must prove a negative statement, for example the absence of water in a drinking glass, when circumstances of time and space and the sphere of existence are within man's access.

Exercise for atheists:

Prove the existence of the nose in your face, prove the existence of God in the nose in your face.

Tip: first, have a concept of God by consulting theists on their first and foremost concept of God as the creator and operator of the universe and of everything with a beginning.


Susmariosep
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”