Author Topic: Probabilities of God's existence debate  (Read 130064 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.
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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.
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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.

Offline One Above All

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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

Offline One Above All

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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.

Offline median

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1697 on: August 16, 2015, 11:37:51 AM »
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.


Would you mind defining the word "God" as you are using it here? What does the word "God" refer to? If you think it's "perfectly possible" for there to be this alleged 'thing' called "God", then what exactly is this thing that you are talking about?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Defiance

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1698 on: August 16, 2015, 07:09:25 PM »
Median, you love to end threads don't you.

"Define god" rofl, that'll totally happen.
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Offline dallacuse

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1699 on: October 29, 2015, 06:56:15 PM »
If I had to place odds for The House on The Probabilities of God's existence:

1:1000 that a deity exists;

1:1,000,000 that a theistic god exists.

Nice round numbers, but fairly reflective of my belief.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1700 on: October 29, 2015, 07:12:47 PM »
If I had to place odds for The House on The Probabilities of God's existence:

1:1000 that a deity exists;

1:1,000,000 that a theistic god exists.

Nice round numbers, but fairly reflective of my belief.

Could you explain the difference between a deity and a theistic god?

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Offline dallacuse

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1701 on: October 29, 2015, 08:08:43 PM »
Unless I am using the terms incorrectly, a deity is a god that "sets it and forgets it." Started the whole thing but has no daily interaction with people's affairs, didn't make any commandments, didn't have any son sent down on earth, etc.

A theistic God, by my understanding, is one who watches over people, cares about what day you celebrate the Sabbath, and otherwise cares about the affairs of people and other things.

Thanks for the welcome !

Tom
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 08:11:01 PM by dallacuse »

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1702 on: October 29, 2015, 10:37:05 PM »
Sounds like you mean a deist god, Tom.  What kind of evidence would a hands-off, "I like to watch" god who is only "being there" leave for us to find? Why would you give positive odds for such a being to exist?
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1703 on: October 29, 2015, 11:17:35 PM »
Unless I am using the terms incorrectly, a deity is a god that "sets it and forgets it." Started the whole thing but has no daily interaction with people's affairs, didn't make any commandments, didn't have any son sent down on earth, etc.

A theistic God, by my understanding, is one who watches over people, cares about what day you celebrate the Sabbath, and otherwise cares about the affairs of people and other things.

Thanks for the welcome !

Tom

I'm guessing that nogodsforme is correct insofar as use of the term deist god is probably a more accurate phrase.  In the interest of clarity, I will distinguish these two categories as non-interacting instantiator of reality and interacting instantiator of reality.  If the property of 'having created the world' is unnecessary for the label theistic god to apply, let me know.

That being said, how do you evaluate the relative difference in probabilities between a non-interacting instatiator of reality and an interacting instantiator of reality?  Do you think that a deity that planned for a precise result in reality and executed said plan by instantiating reality in a way that, a la a domino effect, the natural procession of events would manifest exactly his/her/its planned reality after just initially being set in motion...do you think that deity would qualify as non-interacting or interacting?
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Offline Boots

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1704 on: October 30, 2015, 07:46:56 AM »

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.

(I see OOA pretty much addressed this, so forgive me but I don't feel like deleting this post.)

bold added.

but that is NOT the position of atheism.  Atheism is the rejection of the god claim, wich is NOT THE SAME as the adherance to the opposite ("there is no god").  It is the default, "null" claim.  Here's an analogy.

There's a jar of jelly beans on the counter.  I'm certain you will agree that there is either an even number of beans, or an odd number.  Someone comes to you and says "the number of beans in the jar is even."

What is your response?

The proper response is "I reject that assertion due to lack of evidence."  You are saying "I don't believe there are an even number of beans in the jar" which IS NOT THE SAME AS saying "I believe there is an odd number of beans in the jar."

You are saying "there is a god."  I (and most other atheists I've ever encountered) are saying "I reject your claim due to lack of evidence."
...religion is simply tribalism with a side order of philosophical wankery, and occasionally a baseball bat to smash...anyone who doesn't show...deference to the tribe's chosen totem.

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To not believe in god is to know that it falls to us to make the world a better place.

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1705 on: October 30, 2015, 01:36:29 PM »
I think you can refine the analogy further and say that the positive claim is not just that there is an even number of jelly beans, but that the number is 1,298.

Most theists do not just say that there is a god; something powerful out there that might have done something amazing at some point in time. They specify which god that is. They claim to know what he is like, what rules he has set out, what he wants and what will happen if he does not approve of you. Sometimes they even tell you his name.

So we are not only rejecting the claim that there is an even number of jelly beans. We are most certainly rejecting the claim that there are 1,298. And that 406 of them are yellow, 379 are red and 158 are green and the rest are black. And that they all taste like chicken.
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline kcrady

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1706 on: October 31, 2015, 07:59:37 AM »
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.

How do you reach this conclusion?  As far as I can tell, pretty much everything in science precludes the existence of such an entity.  First of all, there's the procedural matter of "locating the hypothesis."  Why are we even talking about that particular description of deity, instead of saying that science can't disprove the Goddess that is infinitely fluffy, infinitely blue, and infinitely feminine?  Or the Heliopolitan Ennead, or the Great Tentacled Ones of Tau Ceti?  To just use the Jewish/Christian/Islamic deity-concept as our starting point for no reason (i.e., in the absence of evidence to favor that particular concept of deity over all others) is to engage in unscientific bias.

Second, the description is incoherent.  For example, if it has infinite knowledge, then it would know the entire set of all its actions.  However, if it had that knowledge, it would not have the option of choosing some other action, hence, no options at all.  Thus it would not be "omnipotent."  Likewise, infinite knowledge is incompatible with "divine simplicity" since the catalog of the deity's items of knowledge (whether written down or stored in its mind) would represent an infinitely complex array, or at least very, very complex, if the set of all knowledge is finite.

Then, there's the matter of evidence.  I've bolded the claim of "omnibenevolence" in the quote above because unlike the other "attributes," this one defines a particular pattern of behavior.  We cannot call someone "benevolent" (infinitely so or otherwise) if they never do anything, just as we can't say that a particular person is "the best chef in the world" if they have never cooked a meal and never will.  The claim of "omnibenevolence," requires that we be able to tell the difference between infinite goodness, and finite goodness, finite evil, omnimalevolence, or indifference.  If we can't tell the difference (i.e., there's no divine behavior to evaluate), then hidden "omnibenevolence" is equal to hidden "omnimalevolence," hidden "omni-mischief" or any other hidden claim of moral stature you could care to name. 

The other infinite "attributes" leave no possible room for plausible deniability.  "Omnipresence" means that the alleged deity cannot have the excuse of existing long ago in a galaxy far, far away.  It is inescapably present here and now, by definition.  "Omnipotence" means that its powers cannot be too weak or subtle for us to be able to observe the effects of its omnibenevolent behavior.  To the contrary, its omnibenevolence must be maximally effective, by definition.  "Omniscience" means that we cannot fail to observe the alleged deity's omnibenevolence in action because it doesn't know we're here, or doesn't know how to go about arranging an omnibenevolent Universe.  Nor can we say that "benevolence" as applied the deity means something other than "benevolence" as applied to other beings like humans or space aliens.  That simply strips the word of meaning; it ceases to communicate anything about the alleged deity's nature.

At this point, theologians must resort to wildly baroque twists of spaghetti-logic and pseudo-explanatory loop-o-planes in their efforts to wriggle out of the trap they've set for themselves, and find some way, any way, to be able to simultaneously assert that their deity is infinitely awesome in every way, yet said awesomeness should not be expected to have any effects.  "Free will!"  So, infinite efficacy can't possibly arrange for a Universe with "free will" that is also free of suffering (especially pointless suffering, such as children with leukemia, or caterpillars with parasitic wasp larvae eating them alive from the inside out)?  "It's the Devil's fault!"  Infinite efficacy can't outsmart/overpower a finite Devil, or not create one in the first place?  "Sin!"  Infinite efficacy can't figure out how to create a Universe without a countervailing infinite, hereditary, contagious (to animals, distant galaxies, etc. as a result of a guy eating a fruit) evil force?  If the Universe as we see it, with all of its attendant injustice, suffering, failure, boredom, frustration, etc. is the very best that infinite divine efficacy can accomplish, then how exactly is the deity supposed to go about creating "Heaven" in the sweet bye and bye?

So yes, we can say with as much confidence as we can say anything at all, that science (observation of the Universe we happen to live in) precludes the existence of an omnimax deity like the one you describe.  If it existed, it would be a woolly mammoth in the living room of the Cosmos, too big (infinitely big) to miss.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1707 on: October 31, 2015, 04:10:30 PM »
^^^So very true.

If this amazingly awesome loving--but invisible, and completely undetectable-- thing was real, there would be no need for "theologians" to somehow figure it out that it was there by magical means and describe it to the rest of us so we can understand it correctly.

There is not any need for special "air-ologians" to explain to everyone that air exists and should be inhaled--a)preferably through the nose, b)continually in a rhythmic fashion, c)or in a pinch, through the mouth, but not through other orifices-- so we can stay alive. Even newborn babies figure out air.

It would be the same thing with a god, as equally detectable to all as water, warmth, food, and most every other important-to-human-survival real thing. Unless that god wanted to hide from everyone but a select few. Which, if the things religious people say about their god are to be believed, makes not a lick of sense.[1]

Similarly, unless the god-being did not want to be known, there should be need for special messiahs, prophets or seers or pastors or organizations (churches, temples, mosques) to properly ferret out and interpret (from visions, holy texts, magical signs) what this being was all about and what it wanted from humans--prayers, worship, good works, enslaving or eliminating his enemies, fear, adoration, wearing special clothes, avoiding certain foods, whatever.

Hell, the being could never "want" anything different from how it is, because he made the universe.  Everyone would automatically already know everything he wanted them to, just like everyone knows how to breath and circulate the blood through their veins. Everything would already be the way it was supposed to be. How could it not be?

We are talking about the most powerful thing ever, that made the entire universe. Are we supposed to then turn around and posit the ridiculous idea that he did not make it the way he wanted? That he somehow overlooked flaws, errors and problems? That the universe, made by the most perfect and powerful being imaginable, made a universe that would eventually go off the rails?  That he made it wrong?

No. He did not make it wrong. So, he made it screwed up, then, for reasons of his own. But it will all be straightened out, because the god, although perfect, knew there were mistakes in his blueprint. He has thus included some nifty fixits and patches and work-arounds, ya see. He sent lots of messiahs, prophets, seers, pastors and organizations (that all seem equally flawed and contradictory) to explain everything.

And his really great future plan will be even better than the messed up original plan that was not really messed up, just temporarily in need of repairs due to technical difficulties caused by the two first human beings (Flaws Inside!) the god ever made. So he is still teh awesome.

Uh-huh.  :-\
 1. Like a secret, invisible, powerful, judgmental, wrathful, violent, non-communicative (but incredibly loving, wise and caring) absentee king, president, parent, teacher or other authority figure does not make sense.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 04:17:23 PM by nogodsforme »
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline kcrady

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1708 on: October 31, 2015, 07:41:09 PM »
There is not any need for special "air-ologians" to explain to everyone that air exists and should be inhaled--a)preferably through the nose, b)continually in a rhythmic fashion, c)or in a pinch, through the mouth, but not through other orifices--

Though it is sometimes exhaled through another orifice...  How does that work?  You can't explain that!  It's a MIRACLE!



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Offline dallacuse

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1709 on: April 14, 2016, 08:12:45 AM »

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.

How can you be both omniscient and omnipotent at the same time -- if you know exactly what the future holds, how do you also have the power to change it?