God's existence analogy with fish
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04-11-2016, 02:12 AM
God's existence analogy with fish
So, during a classroom discussion about God's existence, the teacher just threw this in the air:

There are 2 fish in a river, one small and the other big, just swimming. The small fish asks, "is this all there is to life? a river?" to which the bigger fish responds "No. Listen, you may be in a river right now, but there's an ocean out there."

The small fish questions his remark and goes "How can there be an ocean? I have never seen it." and the big fish responds again "But there is an ocean, a giant body of this water we're swimming in. But it's not because you can't see it that it doesn't exist."

Eventually, the two fish arrive at the ocean and accept its existence.

---

This is clearly an analogy defending "The fact that you can't see it doesn't mean it exists", in this case neither of the fish saw the ocean but it ended up existing.

What do you think about this analogy?
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04-11-2016, 02:19 AM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2016 09:16 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: God's existence analogy with fish
It's a very bad analogy. I mean, if this was just given as is without greater context? Yeah, not even an analogy, just a dumb little story.

Plus, at what point do we (the fish) ever get to actually see god (the ocean)? Because the little fish accepted the existence of the ocean after being presented with indisputable proof of it's existence. Unless your teacher can offer up an ocean's worth of evidence, the little fish is right to be skeptical. Go back and ask your teacher to present to you the same ocean the little fish saw, anything less is special pleading.

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04-11-2016, 02:47 AM
RE: God's existence analogy with fish
It's not even an analogy. It's simply circular reasoning dressed up to support a position that is really an argument from ignorance. And it's a really bad attempt at even that.

In the absence of demonstrable evidence the default position is one of mild skepticism and not credulity.

In any event there are many rivers that don't end up in the ocean. Rivers in endorheic basins never reach the sea as these are closed drainage basins that retain water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water. The existence of oceans in those circumstances is a complete irrelevance.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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04-11-2016, 03:18 AM
RE: God's existence analogy with fish
Ask what brand of fish the teacher was talking about.

Most freshwater fish can't survive in a saltwater ocean. They'll die.

No doubt, the teacher will be tempted to declare the ocean to be the afterlife (i.e. death) ... which means that god only becomes relevant after death.

Cool, you say, so what about fish that evolved to survive in both environments? Big Grin

If any of your classmates are persuaded by the 'analogy', please give them my details and mention that I have snake oil available for the low price of $99.99 for a 20ml bottle.

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04-11-2016, 03:43 AM
RE: God's existence analogy with fish
Did the fish get to come back to the river and tell all the other fish What he saw? I'm assuming he could, so that's a stupid analogy since he could easily demonstrate this evidence to everyone else.
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04-11-2016, 04:46 AM
RE: God's existence analogy with fish
It would have been a far better argument, if the teacher had said something about the world "out" of the ocean, (terrestrial reality) that the fish had never seen, but could glimpse only rarely, (by "jumping", or in the way that some sharks or dolphins chase their prey a short distance onto a shore). Too bad the teacher is a dolt.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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04-11-2016, 05:48 AM
RE: God's existence analogy with fish
Big fish believed something existed that he couldn't currently detect.
There are scientists, who at some point, had good reasons to believe that certain particles existed that they couldn't detect.
They set up experiments to detect those particles and found evidence of their existence.

The big fish was able to travel to his evidence and demonstrate for all to see and validate his belief.
His evidence can be peer reviewed by other fish.

This would seem to be a good story about science.

Unfortunately a horrible story if used to reference any religion.

If the big fish said " I believe there is a large invisible, intangible, all knowing, all powerful ocean that exists in the 10th dimension.", then you have an analogy about religion.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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04-11-2016, 05:48 AM
RE: God's existence analogy with fish
Russels Teapot

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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04-11-2016, 06:53 AM
RE: God's existence analogy with fish
(04-11-2016 03:18 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Ask what brand of fish the teacher was talking about.

"Brand" of fish Gasp

[Image: 800DPI.gif]

And here I thought those were species. Big Grin

I think you've been living too long among those heathens DLJ.

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“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
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04-11-2016, 07:17 AM
RE: God's existence analogy with fish
If the ocean represents god, and the fish are surrounded by water, then the water could serve as evidence of the possibility that there is a larger body of water somewhere, but that's not what we see...

There were 2 kangaroo mice in the desert.

One mouse turns to the other and says "I was talking to a bird today that told me that there was an ocean way off in that direction..."

The second mouse says "What is an ocean?"

"I dunno... the bird said that it is a huge body of water..."

"What is water?"

"I dunno, the bird said that water is something that all things need to live."

"Well whatever water is, if we need it to live then we must be getting it from something other then the ocean...maybe it is in the things we eat."

"Maybe..."

"So whether or not there is an ocean over there doesn't really matter to us does it."

"I guess not"

"Then maybe the next time you get talking to a bird try asking it something useful like if it could see any food around, or if there are any predators nearby..."

A friend in the hole
"I'll be back when I want it...not when I need it." - Hawkeye
"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Captain Picard
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