Author Topic: Probabilities of God's existence debate  (Read 81748 times)

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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1682 on: July 23, 2015, 11:06:47 AM »
As I understand it, some versions of string theory remove the infinities in the singularity as there is a finite string size so that the density is very, very high but not infinity. String theory has yet to show itself in a state to make predictions to test but even this shows us that there may be more physics out there to explain.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1683 on: July 23, 2015, 12:26:28 PM »
yabut... all belief is restricting.  everyone uses their own belief to restrict and manipulate.
Come now, frank, do you really think that "everyone does it" is even a good excuse, never mind an accurate one?

But even so, there's justification for it in many cases.  Traffic laws restrict and manipulate what people can do while driving a car, but they are generally predicated on data which indicates that doing certain things while driving is dangerous.  For example, a person who does not wear a safety belt while driving is much more likely to be seriously injured or even killed in the case of an accident; a person who uses a phone while driving is much more likely to be distracted at the wrong moment and get into an accident.  Therefore, it is reasonable to use laws to coerce people to wear safety belts and not use their phones while driving.
A guide to the many flaws in BibleStudent's understanding of evolutionary theory - http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,28728.0.html

Offline Thanatos2

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1684 on: July 24, 2015, 02:44:44 AM »
Well, you kind of answered your own question there, didn't you ...

the laws of physics as we know them no longer apply.

"as we know them" ... that doesn't mean that, as you say later in your post, "anything goes". It means that there's a different set of laws that we as of yet don't understand. A similar case is gravity. We understand gravity, right? First Newton, then Kepler, then Einstein[1] and now we understand gravity. Wrong. If we take gravity to the extreme, i.e. the center of a black hole, Einstein's formulas give you infinity gravity. Which simply cannot be the case. So, there's a law of physics at work there that we do not (yet) understand. At the extremes, our understanding breaks down ... there MAY be a god of some sort hiding at those extremes ... or it may be just another bunch of physics.
 1. you know, the hyper-condensed history of gravity

I don't know, that kind of sounds like the "God of the Gaps" argument to me. If the "God of the Gaps" is considered an argument from ignorance fallacy(There is a gap in understanding of some aspect of the natural world. Therefore the cause must be supernatural.) The same logical criteria can be applied to there being physics we have yet to discover/understand, its still an argument from ignorance and logically can't be used to disprove(or prove) the existence of "God". We can only base observations on our current, demonstrable verifiable understanding. By our current understanding of the natural universe, it wouldn't apply to the universe at the singularity, whether in a black hole or the singularity that was the universe before the big bang, according to the Big Bang Cosmological Model. What we can do is agree on criteria no? I say that if the laws of physics break down, by our current understanding, at the point of a singularity, by the definition of supernatural ((of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.) what occurs at the point is Supernatural. Therefore, it is just as possible that there is a "God" as it is possible that there isn't.

You can't use science or religion to declare the possibility of the existence of a "God", because our understanding isn't complete. This is why I say the existence of God is a philosophical debate. I think the agnostic position is the only logical position, in my opinion, and that the theistic and atheistic positions require similar leaps of faith. I'm of two minds on the whole God existing. It is possible that the universe itself, in some form or another, has always existed. Maybe the universe itself is God?

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1685 on: July 24, 2015, 05:03:45 AM »
Quote
I think the agnostic position is the only logical position, in my opinion, and that the theistic and atheistic positions require similar leaps of faith.

Do you, Thanatos, really? Let's look at this is a logical way.

Why do you believe anything exists? Probably because you have experienced it - toast, cars, offices - all things you have seen and experienced. Then there are things we haven't directly experiences - foreign countries, Mars, super novae - much of that comes from descriptions and pictures we see. The same applies to the microscopic world as well as particle physics. We have no reason to doubt these things based on what we have seen.

Gods are of a difference category. Gods are unseen, non-communicative and don't actually do anything we can detect. no only that but there are thousands of them - literally. If one wants to believe in a particular god, one can but with absolutely zero evidence of it existing. Holy books are not evidence - they are written by those who run the religion and who have an interest in recruiting members. On this basis, here's a few choices -

Alllah
Thor
zeus
YHWH
The Invisible Pink Unicorn

now no one can give any evidence that any of these are actually existing and yet believers in one of these gods claim their god is the only existing one! As atheists we take all believers seriously and accept that all god are imaginary and will continue to do so until some evidence comes in[1]. Thus there is no 'leap of faith to not believe in any god and more than it is a leap of faith not to believe in the Invisible Pink Unicorn that is as this moment standing next to you, Thanatos.
 1. Don't hold your breath though!
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Thanatos2

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1686 on: July 24, 2015, 06:00:51 AM »
Quote
I think the agnostic position is the only logical position, in my opinion, and that the theistic and atheistic positions require similar leaps of faith.

Do you, Thanatos, really? Let's look at this is a logical way.

Why do you believe anything exists? Probably because you have experienced it - toast, cars, offices - all things you have seen and experienced. Then there are things we haven't directly experiences - foreign countries, Mars, super novae - much of that comes from descriptions and pictures we see. The same applies to the microscopic world as well as particle physics. We have no reason to doubt these things based on what we have seen.

Gods are of a difference category. Gods are unseen, non-communicative and don't actually do anything we can detect. no only that but there are thousands of them - literally. If one wants to believe in a particular god, one can but with absolutely zero evidence of it existing. Holy books are not evidence - they are written by those who run the religion and who have an interest in recruiting members. On this basis, here's a few choices -

Alllah
Thor
zeus
YHWH
The Invisible Pink Unicorn

now no one can give any evidence that any of these are actually existing and yet believers in one of these gods claim their god is the only existing one! As atheists we take all believers seriously and accept that all god are imaginary and will continue to do so until some evidence comes in[1]. Thus there is no 'leap of faith to not believe in any god and more than it is a leap of faith not to believe in the Invisible Pink Unicorn that is as this moment standing next to you, Thanatos.
 1. Don't hold your breath though!

I agree, I think the god's of the myriad religions we have are mythological. However, it is one thing to state that the God of the bible is not real(he isn't), It's another thing to say that there is no God at all(Which you can't logically state.) It is perfectly within the realm of possibility that there is some entity that could fit the generalized description of God (From Wikipedia - The concept of God as described by theologians commonly includes the attributes of omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence). There is nothing in science that precludes the above description of an entity from existing. We don't know enough about the universe to say, even within a reasonable doubt, that it is impossible for such a being to exist, hence why I find the debate of whether one exists or not philosophical, impossible to proove one way or the other.

Offline Fiji

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1687 on: July 24, 2015, 06:02:50 AM »
The word 'supernatural' isn't terribly useful, actually. This came up in a recent Atheist Experience episode. Lightning, for instance, was 'supernatural' until we figured it out. Then it became ... natural.

Now, I agree that agnosticism is the most logical position, that's why I'm an agnostic atheist.

Do agnostic theism and atheism indeed require similar leaps of faith? Well, let's look at the track record of the two. In every single thing we've ever figured out, the answer turned out to be ... not god. Regardless of which god you care to insert there, the answer has time and again been ... not that god.

So, we have this thing we want explained, the start of the universe, and, yeah, there could be an intelligence behind it (like I said in my previous post). However, theists by definition, try to drag additionals attributes into the discussion, while the utmost you can reach logically is X can create a universe. Yet, theists like to add on, and X can do anything, X knows everything, X loves you, X listens to you, X rewards you after you die, X can also punish you after you die, X once knocked up a virgin girl, ... the list goes on.

Is that still ... remotely  ... logical?

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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1688 on: July 24, 2015, 08:00:05 AM »
I don't know, that kind of sounds like the "God of the Gaps" argument to me. If the "God of the Gaps" is considered an argument from ignorance fallacy(There is a gap in understanding of some aspect of the natural world. Therefore the cause must be supernatural.) The same logical criteria can be applied to there being physics we have yet to discover/understand, its still an argument from ignorance and logically can't be used to disprove(or prove) the existence of "God". We can only base observations on our current, demonstrable verifiable understanding. By our current understanding of the natural universe, it wouldn't apply to the universe at the singularity, whether in a black hole or the singularity that was the universe before the big bang, according to the Big Bang Cosmological Model. What we can do is agree on criteria no? I say that if the laws of physics break down, by our current understanding, at the point of a singularity, by the definition of supernatural ((of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.) what occurs at the point is Supernatural. Therefore, it is just as possible that there is a "God" as it is possible that there isn't.

You can't use science or religion to declare the possibility of the existence of a "God", because our understanding isn't complete. This is why I say the existence of God is a philosophical debate. I think the agnostic position is the only logical position, in my opinion, and that the theistic and atheistic positions require similar leaps of faith. I'm of two minds on the whole God existing. It is possible that the universe itself, in some form or another, has always existed. Maybe the universe itself is God?

This is just semantics. I use natural to describe how things work and not as if it's a characteristic of any phenomena. Something that can be described as natural means that there are constraints and limitations on that something - how it can arise and what it can do. To be supernatural is to describe something that is the antithesis of that - to have no constraints (apart from logic) and to be able to do anything and everything.

If you want to say that the source of the BB is supernatural because our scientific understanding of nature breaks down there, then you're applying that across the board to all areas where our understanding breaks down, and where it has in the past before we did come to understand. That doesn't seem to make sense to me, or aim to be consistent in any way, but if that's what you want to call it, then so be it, but it's not how I understand the term.
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Offline Thanatos2

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1689 on: July 24, 2015, 10:59:10 AM »
Quote
The word 'supernatural' isn't terribly useful, actually. This came up in a recent Atheist Experience episode. Lightning, for instance, was 'supernatural' until we figured it out. Then it became ... natural.

Now, I agree that agnosticism is the most logical position, that's why I'm an agnostic atheist.

Do agnostic theism and atheism indeed require similar leaps of faith? Well, let's look at the track record of the two. In every single thing we've ever figured out, the answer turned out to be ... not god. Regardless of which god you care to insert there, the answer has time and again been ... not that god.

So, we have this thing we want explained, the start of the universe, and, yeah, there could be an intelligence behind it (like I said in my previous post). However, theists by definition, try to drag additionals attributes into the discussion, while the utmost you can reach logically is X can create a universe. Yet, theists like to add on, and X can do anything, X knows everything, X loves you, X listens to you, X rewards you after you die, X can also punish you after you die, X once knocked up a virgin girl, ... the list goes on.

Is that still ... remotely  ... logical?

It is logical. Atleast you allow for the possibility of there being an intelligence behind it, which is what I was getting at. I think the strictly theistic or strictly atheistic viewpoints( the certainty that there is/is not a god) is untenable. I simply used a singularity as an example of something that 1) We have no clue about, that according to our current understanding of physics is not beholden to them, to illustrate that 2) without that knowledge on such a fundamental phenomenon that according to the Big Bang Cosmological Model started the ball rolling, so to speak, you can't say with any certainty that there is or is not a God. This thread, it's about the PROBABILITY that God exists, not the CERTAINTY that he exists. I'm saying it's perfectly possible for their to be a god. I speak if "God" as the concept, not of any particular religious connotations.

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1690 on: July 24, 2015, 11:08:28 AM »
I think the strictly theistic or strictly atheistic viewpoints( the certainty that there is/is not a god) is untenable.

That's not what atheism or theism are about. Atheism is the lack of belief in deities. No statement of certainty as to whether or not they exist. Theism is the belief in deities. No statement of certainty as to whether or not they exist.
What you're thinking about is called gnostic theism and gnostic atheism. The certainty that deities do and do not exist and the belief or lack thereof in them, respectively. As for whether or not those are tenable, consider this:
Gnostic atheism is supported by all available evidence. There has never been a single phenomenon in the history of the universe we thought was caused by a deity that was actually caused by a deity. Lightning is not caused by Zeus. The sun doesn't go around the Earth thanks to Apollo; it doesn't go around the Earth at all. The Moon is not a light source. The Earth was not created in 7 days.
Gnostic theism is supported by... nothing. There's no logically consistent argument for a being that can be called a deity that also matches with reality. It's always arguments from ignorance or "It's possible" or some other bullshit.

If you believe otherwise, there's an open challenge by me for any theist to make a single argument for a deity that isn't fallacious, illogical, or inconsistent. We'd analyze this argument in a one-on-one debate. Interested?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 11:18:34 AM by One Above All »
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1691 on: July 24, 2015, 11:13:43 AM »
you may have a point, Thanatos, but we need to be certain about the words. As you point out, the thread is about the probability of God's existence yet you just used the word possibility. The tow are no the same.

Possibility Saying something is possible says nothing about the chances of that being true.

Probability Can come up with the odds that something is true - using maths if one has the skill.

Now, whilst the discussion of the big bang is interesting, revealing as it does the hole in our present knowledge and the need for new science, it only opens up a possibility that a god started the universe.Yet our experience tells us that everything in the universe we have studied works in predictable ways so that no holes are left for gods. So a reasonable assumption, for now, is that when we have new areas opened up in, say, understanding the big bang, there will be a predictable pattern there too.

Thus, at present, the probability of a god existing is extremely low. we have never detected one and never been able to see one act in the world but who knows, one might float down on a  cloud tomorrow before breakfast but don't cancel your breakfast plans just in case!
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1692 on: July 24, 2015, 11:20:24 AM »
The probability is not even extremely low. The supernatural isn't probability-apt as no method has ever been brought forward to calculate the likelihood of when it does/doesn't act.
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Offline Thanatos2

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1693 on: July 24, 2015, 12:14:34 PM »
Quote
That's not what atheism or theism are about. Atheism is the lack of belief in deities. No statement of certainty as to whether or not they exist. Theism is the belief in deities. No statement of certainty as to whether or not they exist.
What you're thinking about is called gnostic theism and gnostic atheism. The certainty that deities do and do not exist and the belief or lack thereof in them, respectively. As for whether or not those are tenable, consider this:
Gnostic atheism is supported by all available evidence. There has never been a single phenomenon in the history of the universe we thought was caused by a deity that was actually caused by a deity. Lightning is not caused by Zeus. The sun doesn't go around the Earth thanks to Apollo; it doesn't go around the Earth at all. The Moon is not a light source. The Earth was not created in 7 days.
Gnostic theism is supported by... nothing. There's no logically consistent argument for a being that can be called a deity that also matches with reality. It's always arguments from ignorance or "It's possible" or some other bullshit.

If you believe otherwise, there's an open challenge by me for any theist to make a single argument for a deity that isn't fallacious, illogical, or inconsistent. We'd analyze this argument in a one-on-one debate. Interested?

I am not in any way shape or form up to that task good sir lol

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1694 on: July 24, 2015, 12:16:12 PM »
I am not in any way shape or form up to that task good sir lol

Apparently also not up to addressing the main point.
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Offline Thanatos2

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1695 on: July 24, 2015, 12:16:21 PM »
Quote
you may have a point, Thanatos, but we need to be certain about the words. As you point out, the thread is about the probability of God's existence yet you just used the word possibility. The tow are no the same.

Possibility Saying something is possible says nothing about the chances of that being true.

Probability Can come up with the odds that something is true - using maths if one has the skill.

Now, whilst the discussion of the big bang is interesting, revealing as it does the hole in our present knowledge and the need for new science, it only opens up a possibility that a god started the universe.Yet our experience tells us that everything in the universe we have studied works in predictable ways so that no holes are left for gods. So a reasonable assumption, for now, is that when we have new areas opened up in, say, understanding the big bang, there will be a predictable pattern there too.

Thus, at present, the probability of a god existing is extremely low. we have never detected one and never been able to see one act in the world but who knows, one might float down on a  cloud tomorrow before breakfast but don't cancel your breakfast plans just in case!

Yeah you got me there. I have no clue how to come up with an actual probability. The most I can say is "it's possible" can't get any more concrete then that.

Offline Thanatos2

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1696 on: July 24, 2015, 12:21:31 PM »
Quote
That's not what atheism or theism are about. Atheism is the lack of belief in deities. No statement of certainty as to whether or not they exist. Theism is the belief in deities. No statement of certainty as to whether or not they exist.
What you're thinking about is called gnostic theism and gnostic atheism. The certainty that deities do and do not exist and the belief or lack thereof in them, respectively. As for whether or not those are tenable, consider this:
Gnostic atheism is supported by all available evidence. There has never been a single phenomenon in the history of the universe we thought was caused by a deity that was actually caused by a deity. Lightning is not caused by Zeus. The sun doesn't go around the Earth thanks to Apollo; it doesn't go around the Earth at all. The Moon is not a light source. The Earth was not created in 7 days.
Gnostic theism is supported by... nothing. There's no logically consistent argument for a being that can be called a deity that also matches with reality. It's always arguments from ignorance or "It's possible" or some other bullshit.

Quote
Apparently also not up to addressing the main point.

I'm feeling sheepish actually. You provided some good analysis. I was first guilty of generalizing atheists and theists. Fact of the matter is, the way you put it is making me re-examine some conceptions I had.