Belief versus reality
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
25-10-2017, 09:30 AM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2017 09:37 AM by Free.)
RE: Belief versus reality
(25-10-2017 09:21 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(25-10-2017 07:53 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I am absolutely not claiming that God exists (For the record, I have a strong belief that he doesn't). I am claiming that we do not, and cannot, know that he doesn't. That's all. This should not be a controversial statement.

It depends on the God in question. Some God concepts can't possibly be true because they're defined in a self-contradictory manner or in such a way as to conflict with observable realities.

My problem with his statement is that by claiming that we cannot know that God doesn't exist, it by necessity implies the possibility that God does exist.

Hence, my position is that since he cannot show that the possibility of the existence of God is even capable of being demonstrated, then we can indeed know that God does not exist.

If something cannot be demonstrated as being possible, and cannot even be demonstrated as having the capability of being possible, then we can accept as knowledge that it isn't possible.

Having problems with your computer? Visit our Free Tech Support thread for help!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Free's post
25-10-2017, 09:39 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(25-10-2017 09:30 AM)Free Wrote:  My problem with his statement is that by claiming that we cannot know that God doesn't exist, it by necessity implies the possibility that God does exist.

Hence, my position is that since he cannot show that the possibility of the existence of God is even capable of being demonstrated, then we can indeed know that God does not exist.

If something cannot be demonstrated as being possible, and cannot be demonstrated as having the capability of being possible, then we can accept as knowledge that it isn't possible.

That makes sense to me. After all, we aren't talking about some minor diety who lives on an alien planet we never heard of. We are talking about God with a big G, who is assumed to rule the whole universe and who should therefore be fairly obvious.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Thoreauvian's post
25-10-2017, 09:42 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(25-10-2017 09:39 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(25-10-2017 09:30 AM)Free Wrote:  My problem with his statement is that by claiming that we cannot know that God doesn't exist, it by necessity implies the possibility that God does exist.

Hence, my position is that since he cannot show that the possibility of the existence of God is even capable of being demonstrated, then we can indeed know that God does not exist.

If something cannot be demonstrated as being possible, and cannot be demonstrated as having the capability of being possible, then we can accept as knowledge that it isn't possible.

That makes sense to me. After all, we aren't talking about some minor diety who lives on an alien planet we never heard of. We are talking about God with a big G, who is assumed to rule the whole universe and who should therefore be fairly obvious.

Yes! It should make sense to everyone. I mean, we accept as knowledge that some things are not possible on a daily basis due to a complete and utter lack of evidence to the contrary.

Why make this any more of an issue than anything else?

Having problems with your computer? Visit our Free Tech Support thread for help!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Free's post
25-10-2017, 09:46 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(25-10-2017 09:21 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(25-10-2017 07:53 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I am absolutely not claiming that God exists (For the record, I have a strong belief that he doesn't). I am claiming that we do not, and cannot, know that he doesn't. That's all. This should not be a controversial statement.

It depends on the God in question. Some God concepts can't possibly be true because they're defined in a self-contradictory manner or in such a way as to conflict with observable realities.

I'm talking about a very general god -- the one that results from "first cause" arguments and the like. My belief is that neither the existence nor the non-existence of such a god can be proven (although the arguments in question do claim to prove existence).

Certainly, if the definition of something is self-contradictory, it can't exist. I don't dispute this. But if someone claims that X is impossible simply because we have no evidence for its existence, that person is wrong, and that person is full of shit. Inductive arguments never lead to certainty.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Grasshopper's post
25-10-2017, 10:07 AM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2017 10:14 AM by Full Circle.)
RE: Belief versus reality
Haven't we already done Sagan's Garage Dragon before? Russell's Teapot?

I could argue that we cannot know with 100% certainty that neither exists but just because we can imagine stuff this alone doesn't immediately assign it a probability of existing of >0%

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Full Circle's post
25-10-2017, 10:25 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(25-10-2017 10:07 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Haven't we already done Sagan's Garage Dragon before? Russell's Teapot?

I could argue that we cannot know with 100% certainty that neither exists but just because we can imagine stuff this alone doesn't immediately assign it a probability of existing of >0%

True, there are 2 possible claims that both bear a burden of proof:
X is possible
X is impossible

The first has 2 subsidiary claims:
X exists
X does not exist

Not being able to show that something is possible is not the same as showing that it is impossible.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes unfogged's post
25-10-2017, 10:31 AM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2017 10:52 AM by Free.)
RE: Belief versus reality
(25-10-2017 10:25 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(25-10-2017 10:07 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Haven't we already done Sagan's Garage Dragon before? Russell's Teapot?

I could argue that we cannot know with 100% certainty that neither exists but just because we can imagine stuff this alone doesn't immediately assign it a probability of existing of >0%

True, there are 2 possible claims that both bear a burden of proof:
X is possible
X is impossible

The first has 2 subsidiary claims:
X exists
X does not exist

Not being able to show that something is possible is not the same as showing that it is impossible.

But then you have the Evidence of Absence.

"Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or that it does not exist.

Per the traditional aphorism, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", positive evidence of this kind is distinct from a lack of evidence or ignorance of that which should have been found already, had it existed. In this regard Irving Copi writes:

In some circumstances it can be safely assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence of it could be discovered by qualified investigators. In such circumstances it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence.
"

(Copi studied under nobel laureate Bertrand Russell while at the University of Chicago)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_absence

This provides a great argument, and even has the math to demonstrate it. In a nutshell, this is what provides us the knowledge of the nonexistence of God.

So yeah , we can know that God does not exist.

Having problems with your computer? Visit our Free Tech Support thread for help!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Free's post
25-10-2017, 10:58 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(25-10-2017 09:46 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I'm talking about a very general god -- the one that results from "first cause" arguments and the like. My belief is that neither the existence nor the non-existence of such a god can be proven (although the arguments in question do claim to prove existence).

Certainly, if the definition of something is self-contradictory, it can't exist. I don't dispute this. But if someone claims that X is impossible simply because we have no evidence for its existence, that person is wrong, and that person is full of shit. Inductive arguments never lead to certainty.

On the other hand, knowledge doesn't have to be absolute to be knowledge. It can be knowledge of high improbability, which is what we see in the case of a God. Even considering a first cause, there is no real justification for the first cause to be conscious and willful, as any God must be to be a being. At best, we can hypothesize some truth underlying reality, not some God.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Thoreauvian's post
25-10-2017, 11:10 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
It was Sagan, I believe Big Grin, who said we can safely claim absence of evidence is evidence of absence when what is missing is evidence that should be there.

So, yeah, I am quite certain there are no gods, no ghosts, no unicorns, no leprechauns, no faeries, etc.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Chas's post
25-10-2017, 11:16 AM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2017 11:25 AM by Grasshopper.)
RE: Belief versus reality
(25-10-2017 10:07 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Haven't we already done Sagan's Garage Dragon before? Russell's Teapot?

I could argue that we cannot know with 100% certainty that neither exists but just because we can imagine stuff this alone doesn't immediately assign it a probability of existing of >0%

I'm not sure the garage dragon is all that good an analogy. The only argument in favor of the garage dragon's existence is "You can't prove it doesn't exist." The arguments in favor of God's existence, while not conclusive in my opinion, tend to be a bit stronger than that.

Also, unless something is self-contradictory or has been absolutely proven to be impossible, the probability is never zero. It can be very close to zero (in my opinion, the probability of God's existence is in this range), but it is never zero unless that has been established beyond any doubt. "Highly improbable" or "we've never seen one yet" are not the same thing as zero probability.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Grasshopper's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: