Author Topic: Probabilities of God's existence debate  (Read 57962 times)

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Offline VOR_voice_of_reason

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #290 on: August 06, 2012, 04:44:54 PM »
Augusto:

First I reject your assertion that "most" of revelations has proven to be true. I would ask how you come to such a conclusion but any answer you would provide would resemble all the hypothetical conversations between Norm and Chris on both websites WWGHA and GII. If you feel the need to try by all means do so. We can entertain ourselves with another rendition of the logical gyrations required to justify such claims. The nonsense in Revelations has revealed nothing. For a brief explanation of what Revelations actually refers to you can watch the first forty minutes of the Zeitgeist movie. Hint: the answer is in the stars. Second, no has to prove the non-existence of god. Until the existence of a god is proven, he doesn't exist. Thus, as you have admitted, no one has or can prove the existence of any god, therefore, there is no probability that god exists. If I claim Leprechauns exist the onus in on me to prove the existence of Leprechauns. I can't assert the existence of Leprechauns and then insist you prove they don't exist and that until you prove they don't exist, my assertions stands as the truth. Third - well, there is no third. Thank you.

Offline periboob

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #291 on: September 24, 2012, 01:23:18 AM »
Some folks believe in God, others do not. Who knows which group is right. But we all know that one group is wrong, just plain deluded. Now, what type of idiot would decide, just make up their mind without evidence that there is NO loving heavenly father ready to take you into his arms, to give you eternal life that would love and care for you. Only a fool would, given a free choice, decide, without evidence, that there is no god. Everyone has a clear motive to want there to be a god looking after the Universe like a maintenance supervisor, fixing every flaw in existence. So, if you were on a jury, deciding which one was making stuff up, who would you think guilty? The one with a motive, or the one without?

After a bit, I realized that there might be people who do not want an observant god, because they might get punished for their crimes. But I hear that virtually all convicted criminals are devout believers, so obviously, they are not pushed by their desires into atheism.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #292 on: September 24, 2012, 06:36:15 PM »
Just because you want there to be a Santa Claus does not make him real.
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 shnozzola

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #293 on: September 24, 2012, 07:27:00 PM »
Periboob, I have no motive.  I am not sure if there is a god or not.  After living a few years now, I just don’t see any evidence for god – it just seems like a belief our ancestors had that is past it’s time. It would not make any difference one way or another in the way I live if I knew there was or wasn’t a god.  What scares me the most is what religious people are willing to do to “others” (any kind of others – witches, buddhists, christians, muslims, hari-krishnas, jews, rock worshippers, you name it) because they are convinced that their own, sometimes opposing, views are correct.  Understand?

From what I have learned - looking over our history - every single detail of mankind’s existence is attributed to the sweat, the learning, the perseverance, and just the random luck that has led to where we find ourselves today.  It is actually very much more cool that we and our earth “arrived here” on our own.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 07:38:54 PM by shnozzola »
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Offline Boots

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #294 on: September 25, 2012, 09:33:33 AM »
Some folks believe in God, others do not. Who knows which group is right. But we all know that one group is wrong, just plain deluded. Now, what type of idiot would decide, just make up their mind without evidence that there is NO loving heavenly father ready to take you into his arms, to give you eternal life that would love and care for you. Only a fool would, given a free choice, decide, without evidence, that there is no god. Everyone has a clear motive to want there to be a god looking after the Universe like a maintenance supervisor, fixing every flaw in existence. So, if you were on a jury, deciding which one was making stuff up, who would you think guilty? The one with a motive, or the one without?

After a bit, I realized that there might be people who do not want an observant god, because they might get punished for their crimes. But I hear that virtually all convicted criminals are devout believers, so obviously, they are not pushed by their desires into atheism.

You could substitue the word "god" above for "invisible pink unicorn," "leprechaun," "Flying Sphaghetti Monster," "Blooblax the Alien Overlord," or any number of made-up stuff and it would make exactly the same amount of sense as what you wrote.

I would LOVE there to be an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful diety who takes an interest in my everyday life.  But there is no evidence for it, and actually plenty of evidence to the contrary that such a diety does not exists (nevermind the paradox of omnipotence/omnicience, the problem of free will, etc).  It is also unreasonable to think that a being who is so unimaginably huge and powerful to have created the vast expanses of our universe would give two shits about an infinitisimal speck of rock out on the fringes of a medium-sized galaxy (one of millions--or billions--or trillions of galaxies) which is home to a (relatively) small handful of beings who live for under 100 years then die.  It defies reason and comprehension to even think of--not to mention how arrogant it is!

And I find it deliciously ironic that, since eschewing religion and the concept of god, I have FAR less guilt/fear of being "watched" because I also eschew the concept of "sin."  I simply follow the single "Atheist Commandment:" Be Thou Not An Asshole.

Periboob, when's the last time YOU sinned??  Felt guilt over some slight you committed against your lord?  Must be tiring.
It's one of the reasons I'm an atheist today.  I decided to take my religion seriously, and that's when it started to fall apart for me.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #295 on: September 25, 2012, 06:01:29 PM »
Some folks believe in God, others do not. Who knows which group is right.
I do – the atheists are correct.
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But we all know that one group is wrong, just plain deluded.
Could they be the ones who think that there’s something up there that poofed a world into existence and made men from mud?
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Now, what type of idiot would decide, just make up their mind without evidence that there is NO loving heavenly father ready to take you into his arms, to give you eternal life that would love and care for you.
Let me see…
The Mesopotamians believed that the gods were cruel and unforgiving.
The Akkadians were similar but had a god who was wise, witty and liked beer
The Egyptians thought that the gods were like Pharaohs who were also gods – some were good, some were bad.
The Greeks saw the gods as much like humans but who played with us as a child plays with its toys.
The Romans had many gods – each house would have its own, not all promised things
The Norse had their gods – not too dissimilar from the Greek gods in their outlook but who had lives of their own to live.   
The Nepalis have a living goddess in Kathmandu: I've seen her. As she was chewing gum and looking bored, I assume she's not a real god.
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Only a fool would, given a free choice, decide, without evidence, that there is no god.
And can we say that it would be a bigger fool who decided that there was one – Let me quote Pianodwarf,
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It's a burden of proof issue.  Most atheists do not in fact insist that the universe had no creator, but even if we did, the one claiming that it did have a creator would still be a greater burden of proof than the naysayer because the one claiming a creator is making a claim that extends ontology, and such claims always carry a greater burden of proof than claims that an ontological extension does not exist. –
So you see, those who claim gods have all the work to do, just as if I were to say, “There’s a unicorn in that forest!” Would you think that that is true? Who has to prove it?
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Everyone has a clear motive to want there to be a god looking after the Universe like a maintenance supervisor, fixing every flaw in existence.
This is absolute garbage – how can you believe that? The universe works without any gods – there is no need for them – this much has been proven.
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So, if you were on a jury, deciding which one was making stuff up, who would you think guilty? The one with a motive, or the one without?
If I were on a jury with you, I would excuse myself and tell the accused that he had better prepare his appeal because the jury has no critical thinking skills at all and knows nothing about basic science.

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After a bit, I realized that there might be people who do not want an observant god,
A bit disturbing when you’re having a quiet shit, isn’t it?

Periboob,
You are in severe need of education, physics, maths, chemistry, philosophy. You also need to read far more widely. Your arguments above are really poor; taken together, all they say is “I’m right because I say so and if you disagree you are abnormal.”

If you have any proof whatsoever that there is any kind of god, do please let us know.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline periboob

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #296 on: September 27, 2012, 02:51:53 AM »
The lack of religiosity here must have you guys spoiling for an argument. Aw, hell, now you are going to misunderstand that too--I dont mean atheists are more argumentative, I mean that it is interesting to argue with people with a different opinion, and there being few faithful about, you easily jump to the conclusion that any stranger is disagreeing with you. See? A pleasing opinion is more acceptable than an unpleasant fact.

Referencing the topic of this thread about probabilities, I wrote,  "...if you were on a jury, deciding which one was making stuff up, who would you think guilty? The one with a motive, or the one without? ..." Since I had explained, what I thought was obvious, and still think it is obvious, that it would be nice to have a super hero around to rescue the unlucky and smite bad people. (Assuming of course that its idea of "bad people" matches my idea of "bad people"  :) ) So, if everyone would like to have a god, therefore having a motive, they are clearly the most likely to be the deluded class.

But since all you guys misunderstood what I wrote, I now have to add to the deluded class. Those people who would PREFER to blunder through life blown by the winds of chance, rather than have a super daddy to divert the tornadoes, are clearly as deluded as the morans who BELIEVE there is a god who is interested in, participates in, and gets pissy about trivial human activities.

Let me clarify. I am an abeliefist. I do not believe in any god, I do not believe there is no god. I dont BELIEVE in the big bang, evolution, a spherical earth, or gravity. To all things, I look for evidence, listen to other humans, and develop a statistical level of confidence. My current assessment of supreme beings, is I dont know, or much care, but there seems a fair chance that there is/was a god who created things all at once, with all that we see as natural laws. But then she/he/it stepped back and just laughs when I spill my coffee. Or maybe there is a god like Bender met in the "Godfellows" episode of Futurama. (I love that show, I think I posted about it here on the old forum, but it might have been ATT.)

And Graybeard. Do you have any evidence at all that there is no god?  I am a 75 year-old EE, retired USAF officer and retired satellite designer, with a comfortable home and portfolio. I web-surf ~12hrs/day, enjoy astronomy, Si-fi, and XKCD. I think I will skip your advice on education. BTW, Did you take classes on moderating? What kind of grades did you get?

Man, I gotta quit posting after that third drink.  8)
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Offline Brakeman

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #297 on: September 27, 2012, 06:40:44 AM »
Those people who would PREFER to blunder through life blown by the winds of chance, rather than have a super daddy to divert the tornadoes, are clearly as deluded as the morans who BELIEVE there is a god who is interested in, participates in, and gets pissy about trivial human activities.

There's a choice in there somewhere?  Do we choose to believe stuff to address an artificial dichotomy now? How about the choice that I PREFER to follow the amazing story of reality. Where is that choice?

I don't believe that I'm Napoleon, not because I don't want to for any particular reason, it's just that I have never seen any evidence to convince me that I am Napoleon. By your reasoning, should I read up on Napoleon and see if I would like to benefit from believing I am him? If the local Francophone bar would give me free drinks, should I attempt to brainwash myself into believing I'm Napoleon?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #298 on: September 27, 2012, 07:35:38 AM »
.....if everyone would like to have a god, therefore having a motive, they are clearly the most likely to be the deluded class.

But since all you guys misunderstood what I wrote, I now have to add to the deluded class. Those people who would PREFER to blunder through life blown by the winds of chance, rather than have a super daddy to divert the tornadoes, are clearly as deluded as the morans who BELIEVE there is a god who is interested in, participates in, and gets pissy about trivial human activities.

Can you explain why that second paragraph follows, because I'm not sure I follow your argument? 

Your point seems to be that most people want a sky-daddy to make everything better.  That this is therefore the normal point of view, and that therefore anyone who says they do not is a deluded moron.  Have I got that right?

Assuming I have......here is my response.  Ignore everything below if I didn't grok your point!

You may be correct that "wanting a higher power to make things all better" is the more common response of humanity.  Through history, you may well be correct.  But does that necessary make someone deluded, or a moron, if they genuinely prefer there to be no cosmic safety-net?  I'm not sure I agree.  As a child, having daddy around to catch us when we climb the tree makes us feel safer and more secure, I agree.  But is it not the case that, as we gain age and experience, we would find the constant presence of daddy to become an annoyance, and even a hinderance to our efforts?

Where is the satisfaction of trying, if you know that someone is always there to pick up the pieces?  In knowing that - whatever you do - you cannot really fail, because the all-father will set things right if we don't get it right first time? 

Frankly, I can't see anything deluded, or moronic, about standing on one's own two feet and saying "I succeed or fail ONLY by my own efforts.  I take full responsibility for my actions, and the consequences of them, and know that the buck stops here: if I screw up, that's it."  Personally, I would call that courage, or maturity.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline periboob

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #299 on: September 27, 2012, 11:09:48 AM »
.....if everyone would like to have a god, therefore having a motive, they are clearly the most likely to be the deluded class.

But since all you guys misunderstood what I wrote, I now have to add to the deluded class. Those people who would PREFER to blunder through life blown by the winds of chance, rather than have a super daddy to divert the tornadoes, are clearly as deluded as the morans who BELIEVE there is a god who is interested in, participates in, and gets pissy about trivial human activities.

Can you explain why that second paragraph follows, because I'm not sure I follow your argument? 

Your point seems to be that most people want a sky-daddy to make everything better.  That this is therefore the normal point of view, and that therefore anyone who says they do not is a deluded moron.  Have I got that right?
I would not want to imply that view is normal, but it does seem pretty common. While I would usually put it more gently, perhaps "...fooling oneself..." yes that is about right. On a normal day, I suspect many of us feel the satisfaction of self sufficiency. But when disaster comes, I cannot imagine anyone actually PREFERRING to die rather than accept heavenly assistance. I dont expect that assistance, and I waste no time asking for it until I have worked through all the options open to me. I never prayed while being shot at, but I have occasionally asked for God's attention when a loved one's health was at stake.  Hey, it couldnt hurt, right?
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Assuming I have......here is my response.  Ignore everything below if I didn't grok your point!

You may be correct that "wanting a higher power to make things all better" is the more common response of humanity.  Through history, you may well be correct.  But does that necessary make someone deluded, or a moron, if they genuinely prefer there to be no cosmic safety-net?  I'm not sure I agree.  As a child, having daddy around to catch us when we climb the tree makes us feel safer and more secure, I agree.  But is it not the case that, as we gain age and experience, we would find the constant presence of daddy to become an annoyance, and even a hinderance to our efforts?

Where is the satisfaction of trying, if you know that someone is always there to pick up the pieces?  In knowing that - whatever you do - you cannot really fail, because the all-father will set things right if we don't get it right first time? 

Frankly, I can't see anything deluded, or moronic, about standing on one's own two feet and saying "I succeed or fail ONLY by my own efforts.  I take full responsibility for my actions, and the consequences of them, and know that the buck stops here: if I screw up, that's it."  Personally, I would call that courage, or maturity.
You may be right. Perhaps it is that I do not have belief, and that I am a little envious of those who do. Those who, on the verge of calamity, might feel a touch of calmness, in the knowledge that "it will be all right". And, I agree with your point that it would deprive the successes of some satisfaction to know that I was helped.

I have a lot of respect for those who take responsibility for their own actions, as long as it does not turn to thinking "I built this". Personally I am relatively confident that I got to the present by luck--the future comes from hard work. I have long suspected that those who think they earned their position in life were in reality, just lucky, good genes, good experiences, and location, location, location. (I was born a white male in the USA in the 20th century, i.e. born on third base).

But you raise an interesting point. Wonder how the offspring of a king, president, or even a governor ever develop a sense of self-satisfaction, while knowing that they had such a head-start. Maybe that need to surpass daddy is what drives them?
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Offline periboob

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #300 on: September 27, 2012, 11:27:05 AM »

There's a choice in there somewhere?  Do we choose to believe stuff to address an artificial dichotomy now? How about the choice that I PREFER to follow the amazing story of reality. Where is that choice?

I don't believe that I'm Napoleon, not because I don't want to for any particular reason, it's just that I have never seen any evidence to convince me that I am Napoleon. By your reasoning, should I read up on Napoleon and see if I would like to benefit from believing I am him? If the local Francophone bar would give me free drinks, should I attempt to brainwash myself into believing I'm Napoleon?

Some people seem able to believe. They can decide to believe in something that looks silly to others. Others of us are like Kipling's "Sons of Martha" http://www.mindspring.com/~blackhart/The_Sons_of_Martha.html
"to these from birth is belief forbidden, from these till death is relief afar". I learned everything I need to know about philosophy from Kipling. And it rhymed!

As to believing you are Napoleon, he was pretty short, would you need surgery to reduce to the correct height?
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Offline periboob

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #301 on: September 27, 2012, 11:43:41 AM »
Wow, Graybeard has not banned me yet. He must be at work.

How about it GB? If there is a pearly gate, it might look good on my record to get banned from WWGHA.  ;D

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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #302 on: September 27, 2012, 12:02:04 PM »
And Graybeard. Do you have any evidence at all that there is no god?  I am a 75 year-old EE, retired USAF officer and retired satellite designer, with a comfortable home and portfolio. I web-surf ~12hrs/day, enjoy astronomy, Si-fi, and XKCD. I think I will skip your advice on education. BTW, Did you take classes on moderating? What kind of grades did you get?

periboob -

Do you have any evidence at all that there is no such thing phronatic radiation?  If not, did you incorporate shielding in these satellites to prevent phronatic radiation from interfering with system operation?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline periboob

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #303 on: September 27, 2012, 02:31:48 PM »

periboob -

Do you have any evidence at all that there is no such thing phronatic radiation?  If not, did you incorporate shielding in these satellites to prevent phronatic radiation from interfering with system operation?

Well, that is just ridiculous. Everyone in the NRO knows that phronatic radiation is a harmless side effect of chrono-synclastic infundiblia. To shield against it would add needless weight. Well, that is unless you use semi-conductors in your designs. I always used vacuum tubes with protino-cloud extrusion storage.
http://nro.gov/foia/declass/collections.html

Graybeard asked me for evidence first. And as I already explained, you will never find evidence, because god does not want us to find it. God is a graduate student, this universe is necessary for its graduation, and if the experimental subjects became aware that they were an experiment, well, obviously, the experiment would be spoiled. It would have to be shutdown and started all over. Just imagine, having to harvest the souls from a trillion civilizations and re-initialize them. How many yocto-bytes of storage do you think a grad student can afford.  It is hard enough to get a job as a Supreme Being without having THAT on your resume... Oh maybe I am saying too much... never mind.
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #304 on: September 27, 2012, 03:12:20 PM »
Graybeard asked me for evidence first. And as I already explained, you will never find evidence, because god does not want us to find it.

Would the notion that God does not exist in the first place also explain why we will never find the evidence of God's existence?  In what way does that not thoroughly explain why we find no evidence of God?   

God is a graduate student, this universe is necessary for its graduation, and if the experimental subjects became aware that they were an experiment, well, obviously, the experiment would be spoiled.

I'm not sure if you're just being sarcastic here, but... ummm... by your own terms, the experiment is spoiled because you are aware that you're in an experiment...  Aside from that, this is pretty ridiculous.  But let me try one.

God has the mentality of a small child and likes to play hide and seek with everyone on the planet.  But he doesn't let anyone else know he's playing because then they would look for him much harder. 

Its pretty easy to make something up that is theologically sound but completely without proof and totally ridiculous.  People have been doing that for thousands of years.  We should require more proof than an assertion that we're all just in some sort of God experiment.  The more logical, realistic position is that God's not real and we have no evidence because... he's not real.  That's the same reason we don't find gold at the end of the rainbow.  The same reason we don't find a giant city at the North Pole. 

In respect to you, however, you're 75 years old and still asking questions about the world.  Good for you.  Knowledge can be improved at any age.  I hope I'm still asking questions when I reach that age. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #305 on: September 27, 2012, 03:15:15 PM »
And Graybeard. Do you have any evidence at all that there is no god?
Yes. But that depends upon what standard of proof you require. I take it on the balance of probabilities (just as on the balance of probabilities there is not a unicorn in the forest.) This is the correct level for any initial statement. I would push that to the standard of proof required to convict and hang a man. Beyond that, delusions are not capable of being established to the standard of mathematical proof - we just have to put up with their holders.
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I am a 75 year-old EE, retired USAF officer and retired satellite designer, with a comfortable home and portfolio.
Well, good for you. Your a little older than me, but not much. Tell me, why did you mention the comfortable home and portfolio? Do you think that those things mean you have a higher intelligence than a poor person or a homeless one? Do you think that money is the be-all and end-all of life? Do you dismiss those below you?

"In the style of our arguments, we convey our character" Someone said that. Do you think it's true? It probably is of me.
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I web-surf ~12hrs/day, enjoy astronomy, Si-fi, and XKCD. I think I will skip your advice on education.
No seriously, take it. Your post belies your implied critical thinking skills. It's never too late to dip into the critical thinking skills of philosophy, nor to apply your knowledge to the probability of a deity.
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BTW, Did you take classes on moderating? What kind of grades did you get?
Somewhere it is written that when a moderator moderates they write in green and bold, otherwise they are just an ordinary joe. You will see that my post was in black, normal. You're getting me - not moderator me.

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Man, I gotta quit posting after that third drink.  8)
Or smaller drinks

PS
When you were designing satellites, did you ever factor in for God?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #306 on: September 27, 2012, 03:37:10 PM »
Well, that is just ridiculous. Everyone in the NRO knows that phronatic radiation is a harmless side effect of chrono-synclastic infundiblia. To shield against it would add needless weight. Well, that is unless you use semi-conductors in your designs. I always used vacuum tubes with protino-cloud extrusion storage.
http://nro.gov/foia/declass/collections.html

Graybeard asked me for evidence first. And as I already explained, you will never find evidence, because god does not want us to find it. God is a graduate student, this universe is necessary for its graduation, and if the experimental subjects became aware that they were an experiment, well, obviously, the experiment would be spoiled. It would have to be shutdown and started all over. Just imagine, having to harvest the souls from a trillion civilizations and re-initialize them. How many yocto-bytes of storage do you think a grad student can afford.  It is hard enough to get a job as a Supreme Being without having THAT on your resume... Oh maybe I am saying too much... never mind.

Because when I think of reducing weight, I think of vacuum tubes.  Besides, unobtainium-based semiconductors are cheaper and do not suffer from interference issues from phronatic radiation.

But cutting through all the sarcasm, you appear to recognize what I'm getting at - you have no evidence for the non-existence of phronatic radiation, ergo you do not behave as if they exist (i.e. you behave as if they do not exist).  To behave as if phronatic radiation is a real phenomenon would appear to be delusional.  Why doesn't that apply to god?

Insofar as your 'grad student' analogy is concerned...I'm unclear as to what you're getting at with it.  Is it intended as more sarcasm or are you putting forward an argument-of-analogy for why god is hidden?
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Offline periboob

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #307 on: September 27, 2012, 05:42:29 PM »
Would the notion that God does not exist in the first place also explain why we will never find the evidence of God's existence?  In what way does that not thoroughly explain why we find no evidence of God?   
Yes, that would explain it too. But that is a pretty boring answer.

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I'm not sure if you're just being sarcastic here, but... ummm... by your own terms, the experiment is spoiled because you are aware that you're in an experiment...  Aside from that, this is pretty ridiculous.  But let me try one.

God has the mentality of a small child and likes to play hide and seek with everyone on the planet.  But he doesn't let anyone else know he's playing because then they would look for him much harder. 

Its pretty easy to make something up that is theologically sound but completely without proof and totally ridiculous.  People have been doing that for thousands of years.  We should require more proof than an assertion that we're all just in some sort of God experiment.  The more logical, realistic position is that God's not real and we have no evidence because... he's not real.  That's the same reason we don't find gold at the end of the rainbow.  The same reason we don't find a giant city at the North Pole. 

In respect to you, however, you're 75 years old and still asking questions about the world.  Good for you.  Knowledge can be improved at any age.  I hope I'm still asking questions when I reach that age.
I have time now to ask the questions that never had time for before. And I have to ask more and learn more because I am forgetting more... Now what was I about to say ...
Oh yeah. The small child model. One of my most confident analytical results is that the creator of our universe (if any) is nothing like the senile village elder of the Old Testament, or the psychotic author of Revelations.

I was actually shooting for humorous, only slightly sarcastic. I am not into discussing this stuff seriously, because, well, I doubt that I will be able to talk anyone important or dangerous out of their faith. And you guys here, I really dont want you to change. But the political news was depressing me, and this is more fun.
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Offline periboob

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #308 on: September 27, 2012, 07:59:09 PM »
And Graybeard. Do you have any evidence at all that there is no god?
Yes. But that depends upon what standard of proof you require. I take it on the balance of probabilities (just as on the balance of probabilities there is not a unicorn in the forest.) This is the correct level for any initial statement. I would push that to the standard of proof required to convict and hang a man. Beyond that, delusions are not capable of being established to the standard of mathematical proof - we just have to put up with their holders.
I think the whole concept of "proof" is a little rigid for these topics. How about we replace unicorn with Big Foot? Big Foot, I place a little higher confidence, because not everyone just laughs it off. One of the reasons I put Unicorns VERY low, is that no one I know knows anyone who knows anyone... who has ever seen one. Although I once had an ex-co-worker who had regular discussions with angels. He did not seem dangerous, so we had numerous talks over coffee about it. He was otherwise, in my judgement completely normal.

Regardless of any standards of proof, why do you feel the way you do? you seem to pretty confident. On what basis?
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I am a 75 year-old EE, retired USAF officer and retired satellite designer, with a comfortable home and portfolio.
Well, good for you. Your a little older than me, but not much. Tell me, why did you mention the comfortable home and portfolio? Do you think that those things mean you have a higher intelligence than a poor person or a homeless one? Do you think that money is the be-all and end-all of life? Do you dismiss those below you?

"In the style of our arguments, we convey our character" Someone said that. Do you think it's true? It probably is of me.
"Money is not the only thing, but the other thing will not go out with you unless you have it". I mentioned my comfortable life, because you said I "needed education". My point is, I "need" almost nothing, I may be the happiest guy on the planet. And as far as education, I thought you might be recommending classes, and I have found the casual knowledge available on the internet allows me to focus on those tidbits of information that I find useful. Where classes are just full of knowedge that others find useful--prefer my way.

I think I am a little smarter than most folks, but you work in satellite design, you brush up against some unbelievably bright guys, and I got a little more humble. And I never dismiss those "below" me. I am not sure I even know what that means. I am just really lucky, and a little of it stuck.
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I web-surf ~12hrs/day, enjoy astronomy, Si-fi, and XKCD. I think I will skip your advice on education.
No seriously, take it. Your post belies your implied critical thinking skills. It's never too late to dip into the critical thinking skills of philosophy, nor to apply your knowledge to the probability of a deity.
I am not employing any critical thinking skills about any deity, because I dont think it is very important to me--I place extremely low probability on a creator who could create this universe, and still be such a twit as to take it personally when its creations do not worship. But I do remember another quote "You never know if you know all you need to know, until you know all there is to know." Maybe I will re-read some Kipling, and Heinlein, they are my favorite philosophers.
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BTW, Did you take classes on moderating? What kind of grades did you get?
Somewhere it is written that when a moderator moderates they write in green and bold, otherwise they are just an ordinary joe. You will see that my post was in black, normal. You're getting me - not moderator me.
Good to know. Most moderators have so much moderating to do that they have little time for self expression.
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Man, I gotta quit posting after that third drink.  8)
Or smaller drinks

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When you were designing satellites, did you ever factor in for God?
Smaller drinks!?!?! Now you are threatening my happiness quotient.

On satellites
I tried to factor it in. e^pi - pi, but I kept getting round off errors. Bad math processor?
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Offline periboob

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #309 on: September 27, 2012, 09:02:30 PM »
But cutting through all the sarcasm, you appear to recognize what I'm getting at - you have no evidence for the non-existence of phronatic radiation, ergo you do not behave as if they exist (i.e. you behave as if they do not exist).  To behave as if phronatic radiation is a real phenomenon would appear to be delusional.  Why doesn't that apply to god?

Insofar as your 'grad student' analogy is concerned...I'm unclear as to what you're getting at with it.  Is it intended as more sarcasm or are you putting forward an argument-of-analogy for why god is hidden?

I do behave as if there is no phronatic radiation, and I also behave as if there is no god. Because, as near as I can calculate there is no practical difference to my everyday behavior between a universe in which the god wishes to remain hidden, and that with no god at all.
1) No god--act like there is no god.
2) God who wants to hide--act like there is no god.

The Grad Student was just an understandable example (for purposes of this human populated forum) as to why a god might wish, or need, to remain hidden. Another example was the god in Futurama, that had his creations' best interests at heart, where he explains "Being a supreme being is not easy, if you do too much they become dependent. It is best to be like a safe cracker, or a pickpocket where no one knows for sure you are there."

My estimates:
Interactive god: 0.0000000000000000001%
Caring god: 0.00000000001%
Any old god: 50% because I have no reason to lean either way--it just does not matter.

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

Graybeard
Earlier I wrote:   "Some folks believe in God, others do not. Who knows which group is right."
You answered: "I do – the atheists are correct."
You do realize that to others, this has an uncomfortable similarity to "It says so right here in the scripture."
I do not know you are wrong, but your answer could stand a little beefing up to be meaningful to other viewpoints.

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

It has been fun guys, but I think it is time for the periboob to submerge and go quiet for a few days. My other interests are beginning to feel ignored-- Gotta do a newsletter article, Behind on reading my cartoons, Google Earth explorations, Playing with Audacity, Working on my eulogy, maybe visit with inlaws...
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'There is no point in listening to others. They are either agreeing with you, or saying stupid stuff.' Dogbert

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #310 on: September 28, 2012, 03:05:11 AM »
.....I have occasionally asked for God's attention when a loved one's health was at stake.....
.....Perhaps it is that I do not have belief.....

When you asked for "God's" attention, did you also ask help from Freya, or the Great Manitou?  I'm guessing that you didn't....so perhaps you are not as "without belief" as you may think.

And possibly THAT is the reason that you can't completely understand that there are indeed a lot of people who quite genuinely do NOT want any supernatural superhero to be ultimately there to make things right.  Frankly, as far as I'm concerned it would cheapen everything that I have ever done - indeed , what is the point in striving all your life for something, that the supergod could accomplish with a snap of his celestial fingers? 

When you were designing sattellites, when did you feel better?  In the early days, when all your work was checked by the project leaders and your mistakes corrected long before construction?  Or later in your career, when the buck stopped with you and you had final responsibility of saying "yes, we go with this"?  If I'm honest, I can't imagine anyone who preferred the former situation ever amounting to anything in life.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline screwtape

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #311 on: September 28, 2012, 07:30:54 AM »
Any old god: 50% because I have no reason to lean either way--it just does not matter.

Do you approach any proposed deity/ being/ creature/ monster that way?
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #312 on: September 28, 2012, 03:06:07 PM »
Graybeard
Earlier I wrote:   "Some folks believe in God, others do not. Who knows which group is right."
You answered: "I do – the atheists are correct."
You do realize that to others, this has an uncomfortable similarity to "It says so right here in the scripture."
I do not know you are wrong, but your answer could stand a little beefing up to be meaningful to other viewpoints.
If you make it back, remind me.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #313 on: September 28, 2012, 05:07:44 PM »
Periboob, if you find your car keys in the sofa, do you keep looking for them?
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Astreja

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #314 on: January 30, 2013, 04:09:15 AM »
I came across this passage and was hoping someone intelligent on here would be nice enough to retort it.

"Yes, God must punish those who break His law because it is the right thing to do... Because God is infinite, when we sin, we are offending an infinite God. This is incredibly significant..."

Personally, Sebastian, I'd interpret it a bit differently.  How could an infinite god be injured, insulted or otherwise damaged in any way by the actions of mortals? Rather than a crime against this alleged god being infinitely bad, wouldn't it be infinitesimally bad (and therefore quite easy for the god to overlook or forgive)?
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #315 on: January 30, 2013, 04:24:33 AM »
"Yes, God must punish those who break His law because it is the right thing to do... Because God is infinite, when we sin, we are offending an infinite God. This is incredibly significant..."

It's kinda sad how your god has a "one size fits all" method of punishment (eternal damnation) no matter how large or small the infraction against his holy sensibilities are.

It's kinda funny how us sinners can show more compassion than our supposed creator when it comes to letting the punishment fit the crime

Personally, Sebastian, I'd interpret it a bit differently.  How could an infinite god be injured, insulted or otherwise damaged in any way by the actions of mortals? Rather than a crime against this alleged god being infinitely bad, wouldn't it be infinitesimally bad (and therefore quite easy for the god to overlook or forgive)?

Word. (Sorry, I'm in a hip-hop sorta mood tonight). 8)
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Offline Greenandwhite

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #316 on: May 18, 2013, 01:02:22 AM »
     It's kinda sad how your god has a "one size fits all" method of punishment (eternal damnation) no matter how large or small the infraction against his holy sensibilities are.

1. What would you think of varying durations of 'damnation' to 'fit' the crime after which God would...?
2. I am also just wondering how you came to associate hell with punishment - are there specific Biblical texts you are thinking about in relation to this association?
3. Is there a difference between meting out justice and meting out punishment? (e.g. when a murderer is thrown in jail the family of the victim can certainly acknowledge that punishment has been handed out, but do they necessarily feel that justice has been done?)

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #317 on: May 18, 2013, 02:49:53 AM »
Greenandwhite,

Disciple of Sagan has not been active since February, and this thread has been inactive since January.  Please avoid "necromancing" such old threads.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Greenandwhite

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #318 on: May 18, 2013, 11:51:40 AM »
Greenandwhite,

Disciple of Sagan has not been active since February, and this thread has been inactive since January.  Please avoid "necromancing" such old threads.


Anfauglir,
      Sorry, I neglected to observe the date of the last post; I will be more careful in the future.
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