Hasn't god been disproved?
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20-04-2012, 07:34 AM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
(19-04-2012 09:24 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I despise math

I knew there was a reason I didn't like you. Tongue

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20-04-2012, 09:07 AM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
What if I told you that Gwenyth Paltrow was my cousin? I mean, she's not, but, y'know, it'd be neat and junk.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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20-04-2012, 10:15 AM (This post was last modified: 20-04-2012 10:23 AM by NoahsFarce.)
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
(20-04-2012 07:32 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Noah.

No, your critique is flawed. I never said one could prove the existence of supernatural phenomena. I actually said the exact opposite. It cannot be proven. I was explicit. I am not promoting the position that the supernatural exists nor am I promoting the position that the supernatural does not exist because neither position is provable empirically. That's also why I am an Agnostic. I am simply outlining what properties the supernatural would have to have if it existed.

Good point about the paranormal. It's a good way to classify those 'we're not sure' cases.

Methodological natualism is a philosophy. It is a choice to assume naturalism despite the fact that it is not possible to prove it empirically. If you have knowledge about an experiment that someone did, anyone, that empirically proves naturalism, I'd love to hear about it. But it doesn't exist. Admitting that methodological naturalism is a philosophy doesn't bring all scientific discovery into question, so don't feel threatened. It's no gross injustice. It's just a fact. Nothing more. And facing fact is what science is about.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
I made no such claim that you were trying to say "supernatural" events can be proven/disproving. I was pointing out that your use of that word in your premise is flawed. Hence I gave you a better word to use. The way you described your premise, you posited that 2+2=5 would be a supernatural event. I am telling you that it would be a PARANORMAL event. There have been countless paranormal events that occurred throughout history that have since been described through our current, NATURAL, knowledge of the world.

And no, naturalism is not a philosophy. I told you why... natural laws are all we as human beings can go on. Natural laws are what we uncover and come to understand. That is all there is for us to understand the world. Nothing else has even come close to describing the world.

Philosophy is when you begin to try and explain the world outside of what is commonly known i.e. naturalism. I understand naturalism is an actual term in philosophy, but recognize that it was created in the days when people believed the supernatural to be a very real and provable thing. Yes, I'm talking about the days when it was a danger to reveal yourself as a non-believer.

Naturalism was an alternative philosophy to supernatural ones. There is no alternative to naturalism in science therefore it cannot be a philosophy.

There is a reason why philosophy and science has parted ways long ago.


(20-04-2012 10:15 AM)NoahsFarce Wrote:  
(20-04-2012 07:32 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Noah.

No, your critique is flawed. I never said one could prove the existence of supernatural phenomena. I actually said the exact opposite. It cannot be proven. I was explicit. I am not promoting the position that the supernatural exists nor am I promoting the position that the supernatural does not exist because neither position is provable empirically. That's also why I am an Agnostic. I am simply outlining what properties the supernatural would have to have if it existed.

Good point about the paranormal. It's a good way to classify those 'we're not sure' cases.

Methodological natualism is a philosophy. It is a choice to assume naturalism despite the fact that it is not possible to prove it empirically. If you have knowledge about an experiment that someone did, anyone, that empirically proves naturalism, I'd love to hear about it. But it doesn't exist. Admitting that methodological naturalism is a philosophy doesn't bring all scientific discovery into question, so don't feel threatened. It's no gross injustice. It's just a fact. Nothing more. And facing fact is what science is about.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
I made no such claim that you were trying to say "supernatural" events can be proven/disproving. I was pointing out that your use of that word in your premise is flawed. Hence I gave you a better word to use. The way you described your premise, you posited that 2+2=5 would be a supernatural event. I am telling you that it would be a PARANORMAL event. There have been countless paranormal events that occurred throughout history that have since been described through our current, NATURAL, knowledge of the world.

And no, naturalism is not a philosophy. I told you why... natural laws are all we as human beings can go on. Natural laws are what we uncover and come to understand. That is all there is for us to understand the world. Nothing else has even come close to describing the world.

Philosophy is when you begin to try and explain the world outside of what is commonly known i.e. naturalism. I understand naturalism is an actual term in philosophy, but recognize that it was created in the days when people believed the supernatural to be a very real and provable thing. Yes, I'm talking about the days when it was a danger to reveal yourself as a non-believer.

Naturalism was an alternative philosophy to supernatural ones. There is no alternative to naturalism in science therefore it cannot be a philosophy.

There is a reason why philosophy and science has parted ways long ago.
Sidenote: This is EXACTLY WHY I can't stand William Lane Craig debates. Philosophy has no business in science unless you are using science to substantiate your philosophy.

Edit: How can you say we cannot prove naturalism when it is natural laws that describe, and continue to describe, the world around us? There are only things that which cannot be explained YET. Not once, even for a split second, did anything other than natural law explain the world around us beyond a reasonable doubt. So how much more proof do you need?

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20-04-2012, 06:58 PM (This post was last modified: 20-04-2012 07:06 PM by Hafnof.)
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
There's no point believing in thing for which there is no evidence, especially when "evidence" has been presented and debunked time and time again, and especially when the very foundation of those beliefs is clearly unfounded.

How do you prove luck dragons don't exist? Well, noone has provided evidence for them and the foundation of belief is a series of childrens books and films. That's evidence enough, right?

How do you prove fairies don't exist? Well, noone has provided evidence for them and the foundation of belief is fairy stories, fairy rings, deep dark unexplored and dangerous forests, etc. Those have all been dispelled, so isn't that evidence enough?

How do you prove trolls don't exist? How do you prove bigfoot doesn't exist? How do you prove ghosts don't exist? How do you prove gods don't exist?

The same way. It's actually not that difficult to prove to the extent required for reasonable people to reasonably say they "know" these things don't exist. A mathematical proof is impossible without complete knowledge of the universe and all that exists beyond the universe, but is that really required?

As for science being a branch of philosophy - well sure, it is. Science is the philosophy that we can "know" things by:
1. Observing the universe
2. Building up models for that universe
3. Comparing the predictions of the different models available
4. Verifying those predictions
5. Discarding models with poor predictive power in favour of models with greater predictive power
General philosophy essentially stops at (2), and often skips (1).

Although science is a branch of philosophy, it has put most of the rest of philosophy to shame. Science has provided an unparalleled body of evidence and employs models of astounding predictive power. It is central to our society in ways that other philosophies cannot be, and it is self-correcting in ways that other philosophies can't be. Humans too stupid to be really good philosophers, but we seem to be smart enough that we can learn important things through the application of the whole scientific process.
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20-04-2012, 08:54 PM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
No, science IS not philosophy. Science and philosophy used to be one in the same at some point. Science has long since completely separated itself from philosophy. Philosophy can utilize science to substantiate its ideas though.

At best, science was born from philosophy. It's now independent and many scientists consider philosophy to be useless in terms of science.

That's not just a wild claim either. I've heard several leading scientists state it and there are lots of articles and debates on the issue throughout the Internet.

I personally like philosophy, but science is most definitely not a branch of it.

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20-04-2012, 09:26 PM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
(20-04-2012 09:07 AM)Ghost Wrote:  What if I told you that Gwenyth Paltrow was my cousin? I mean, she's not, but, y'know, it'd be neat and junk.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
It is pretty neat. Gwyneth Paltrow is my cousin.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-04-2012, 10:44 PM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Impossible debate.
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21-04-2012, 06:53 AM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Hey, Noah.

Quote:I made no such claim that you were trying to say "supernatural" events can be proven/disproving.
Quote:Your philosophy on the supernatural is flawed. You cannot prove that
even the most seemingly impossible events were supernatural.

You were saying?

Quote:The way you described your premise, you posited that 2+2=5 would be a
supernatural event. I am telling you that it would be a PARANORMAL
event

In the hypothetical, 2+2=5 WAS a supernatural event. End of story.

But I agreed with you that paranormal is a good term to apply to those real life phenomena that we observe where we're not sure if it was in fact supernatural, if it was explainable, or if our current understanding was wrong or incomplete.

We know that natural law exists. We know that paranormal phenomena exist. We don't know if the supernatural exists. We don't know if naturalism's assumption is correct.

In fact, we don't know if the supernatural exists BECAUSE we don't know if naturalism's assumption is correct. If we did, we would KNOW that the supernatural doesn't exist.

Quote:There have been countless paranormal events that occurred throughout
history that have since been described through our current, NATURAL,
knowledge of the world.

I agree. You're barking up the wrong tree.

Quote:And no, naturalism is not a philosophy. I told you why...

I know you did. It just so happens that you're wrong Cool

Like I said in my conversation with Bub, there is an ideological bias that has been naturalised by hegemony, so most people don't see it and simply consider naturalism the common sense view. I think that you are one of those people. That's not an insult in any way, we are all fooled into believing the common sense view for one thing or another. That's how human cognition works. But the other way that it works, and this is something Plato pointed out thousands of years ago, is that it is important to recognise the construction when we can. Naturalism makes an assumption that cannot be proven empirically. That's not my opinion, that's a fact. That discrepancy in the ideology is sutured by hegemony. If you refuse to see past it, so be it. We won't see eye to eye and that's that. But I'm suggesting to you that it is real. Naturalism is an assumption, a philosophy (and maybe philosophy isn't the best word, I can accept that, but I think you get what I'm driving at), not an empirically proven fact.

I disagree wholeheartedly with your definition of philosophy.

Quote:There is no alternative to naturalism in science therefore it cannot be a philosophy.

That's a logical train wreck.

Quote: How can you say we cannot prove naturalism when it is natural laws that
describe, and continue to describe, the world around us?

Because the fact that there ARE natural laws and that there ARE material explanations for phenomena is not a proof that ALL phenomena have a material explanation.

Science is not about what sounds right or what seems right or what feels right, it is about what can be proven empirically. The hypothesis, every phenomena in the universe has a material explanation, cannot be proven empirically. That's WHY they call it methodological naturalism. It says that the methodology of science is such that all phenomena 'are to be explained and tested by reference to natural causes and events'. Methodologically, science does not consider supernatural causes or events because it CANNOT consider them. None of this is some wacky idea I had on the shitter. This is accepted truth.

Quote:There are only things that which cannot be explained YET.

The bias in action.

How do you suggest that you prove that?

Quote: Not once, even for a split second, did anything other than natural law
explain the world around us beyond a reasonable doubt. So how much more
proof do you need?

Empirical proof. In science there is no other kind.

I agree. Natural law explains natural phenomena. But that makes no comment whatsoever on whether or not there are supernatural phenomena.

Sup, Hafnof?

Quote:There's no point believing in thing for which there is no evidence,
especially when "evidence" has been presented and debunked time and time
again, and especially when the very foundation of those beliefs is
clearly unfounded.

That's one opinion.

Quote:How do you prove fairies don't exist? Well, noone has provided evidence
for them and the foundation of belief is fairy stories, fairy rings,
deep dark unexplored and dangerous forests, etc. Those have all been
dispelled, so isn't that evidence enough?

No.

Quote:How do you prove trolls don't exist? How do you prove bigfoot doesn't
exist? How do you prove ghosts don't exist? How do you prove gods don't
exist?

You can't. You cannot prove a false negative. You also cannot prove or disprove the supernatural using the natural.

If someone can provide a peer-reviewed proof that God doesn't exist, I'll accept it. But it doesn't exist. If it did, Dawkins wouldn't be screaming until he was blue in the face, he'd simply say, "Yo, yo, check this out," and show people the proof. People wish the proof exists, but it doesn't. Because it can't. So people say, "well what we have isn't empirical, but it's good enough." Well I'm sorry, good enough doesn't mean a damn in science.

Quote:Although science is a branch of philosophy, it has put most of the rest of philosophy to shame.

Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Camus, Neitzche, Locke, Epicurus, Zeno, Descartes, Chomsky. These people have been shamed? News to me.

Quote:Science has provided an unparalleled body of evidence and employs models of astounding predictive power

True. But blowing sciences trumpet does not in any way shape or form comment on a simple fact (it just distracts from it). Naturalism makes an assumption, one that cannot be proven empirically. That is simply a fact that we must accept and deal with.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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21-04-2012, 08:28 AM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
(21-04-2012 06:53 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:There's no point believing in thing for which there is no evidence,
especially when "evidence" has been presented and debunked time and time
again, and especially when the very foundation of those beliefs is
clearly unfounded.
That's one opinion.

Heh, so would you argue the counter: That we should believe in things for which there is no evidence and no reason to believe those things exist? This again is where general philosophy parts ways with science, but also puts its relationship with reason under some strain Smile

(21-04-2012 06:53 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:How do you prove fairies don't exist? Well, noone has provided evidence
for them and the foundation of belief is fairy stories, fairy rings,
deep dark unexplored and dangerous forests, etc. Those have all been
dispelled, so isn't that evidence enough?
No.

Well, if you want to be logically consistent and believe in such things then that's fine with me... but you start to need to believe in multiple mutually exclusive views of reality if you head down that path. This leads to: "Well, I'm happy to believe unfounded and unevidenced things but now I'm going to have to decide which of those unfounded and unevidenced things to believe in". Would your view be that you have found an unfounded and unevidenced thing that you believe for some particular reason, perhaps because it makes more sense than other philosophies that seem nonsense to you?

(21-04-2012 06:53 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:How do you prove trolls don't exist? How do you prove bigfoot doesn't
exist? How do you prove ghosts don't exist? How do you prove gods don't
exist?
You can't. You cannot prove a false negative. You also cannot prove or disprove the supernatural using the natural.
I think if I read between the lines you are separating natural and supernatural as "things that follow physical laws" and "things that do not need to comply with any particular physical laws", respectively. The supernatural then evades proof only in the sense that it can be redefined to skirt around the foundations of whatever proof is described. If the beings have definable properties then they can be tested by science and are therefore natural. If the beings do not have definable properties, such as the ability to interact with the universe, then what is the point of speculating?

(21-04-2012 06:53 AM)Ghost Wrote:  If someone can provide a peer-reviewed proof that God doesn't exist, I'll accept it. But it doesn't exist. If it did, Dawkins wouldn't be screaming until he was blue in the face, he'd simply say, "Yo, yo, check this out," and show people the proof. People wish the proof exists, but it doesn't. Because it can't. So people say, "well what we have isn't empirical, but it's good enough." Well I'm sorry, good enough doesn't mean a damn in science.
There's no way to prove that "no" god exists, in the same way that there is no way to prove that no supernatural being exists, in the same way that there is no way to provide that a being for which I refuse to define the properties thereof exists. However, if you are happy to list a few properties of your god then each god thus defined can be refuted and disproved either through self-contradiction or through contradiction with reality. "god" hasn't been disproven, and can't be in general terms. "God" as described in the bible, however, is both contradictory with with his own properties and with reality.

(21-04-2012 06:53 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:Science has provided an unparalleled body of evidence and employs models of astounding predictive power
True. But blowing sciences trumpet does not in any way shape or form comment on a simple fact (it just distracts from it). Naturalism makes an assumption, one that cannot be proven empirically. That is simply a fact that we must accept and deal with.
Naturalism is a weasel word here, I think. Let's just talk about what science is and what it proposes. It says that we can know things about the universe by proposing alternative models, then testing the contradictory predictions of those models to discard those with poor predictive power in favour of those with better predictive power. There are a number of ways this philosophy may be flawed:
1. We might not be able to observe the universe well enough to form our initial models. For example, there may be things outside of the universe or things that are outside of our time and our ability to use evidence available to our time to reason about.
2. We might not have sufficient cognitive ability to propose good models
3. We might not be able to reliably test predictions
4. We might cling to old models and socially be unable to let go of them
(2) and (4) are problems with any man-made philosophy, but the processes involved in science make it more effective than other philosophies at dealing with (4). Science also provides a feedback loop into (2) that seems to have kickstarted the cognitive processes well so far when we have come up with problems with our models. Science certainly ensures a fleshing out process that causes us to constantly reflect on and refine our models in ways that general philosophy (and particularly religious philosophy) cannot boast. (1) is a problem, but we have so far been able to work within these limitations to significantly increase the predictive power of our models since the birth of science.

Naturalism is really only an issue when it comes to (3) - and this is something that science and scientists have questioned and reviewed... but what do you know? It turns out that so far all of the physical laws we have discovered do hold. Reality doesn't change under our feet. Experiments performed yesterday produced the same results as the same experiments a hundred years ago. So, although it is reasonable to question whether the laws of the universe are constant or not and to continue questioning this - the answer science is giving us and has been for hundreds of years is that the universe is so far complying with this assumption. There's no reason at this stage to think it won't continue to do so, and we'll no doubt continue monitoring that situation for as long as science is needed as a tool for humanity.

It's the feedback loop within science that ensures its honesty as an intellectual discipline. It's a feedback loop that connects science with reality that general philosophy does not share.

Your argument against science is that it is founded on an assumption of naturalism, and therefore any of its resultant truths are questionable. Well, the truths are questionable in the ways I outlined above, but not because of any general assumption of naturalism - and the thing is, these questions are all being constantly reviewed as part of the scientific process. Science is capable of testing its own assumptions. Science is capable of verifying its own hypotheses. This is possible because it is evidence-focused. It continually builds upon the body of evidence available, and specifically seeks out evidence in places where alternative models make contradictory predictions.

If you think accepting that the universe can be modelled is a philosophical problem, what specific counter-hypothesis do you propose? What predictions does your counter-hypothesis make, and can you show me where your hypothesis has more predictive power than the current models?
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21-04-2012, 12:22 PM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Sup, Hafnof?

Quote:Your argument against science is that it is founded on an assumption of
naturalism, and therefore any of its resultant truths are questionable.

Holy shit, dude, don't talk to me like I'm in the WBC lol.

I haven't made any arguments AGAINST science. I love science. So whatever baggage you're bringing in from other conversations, leave it at the door.

I'm going to say this one last time in this thread. I did not invent methodological naturalism. I am simply reporting its existence. If people want to ignore it, so be it. But stop acting like I'm some lunatic on a soapbox proposing something heretical.

Quote:Heh, so would you argue the counter: That we should believe in things
for which there is no evidence and no reason to believe those things
exist

This is weak sauce. Just because I question something does not mean I advocate its opposite.

I am an Agnostic. I, specifically, do not believe in things or which there is no evidence. Period. That includes God and the supernatural. It also includes the argument against them.

Everything we know, including everything science has taught us, is that the supernatural is a possibility. Nothing's told us that it does exist. Nothing's told us that we should believe in it. But the notion that there may be supernatural phenomena in the universe is a possibility that is unprovable.

Quote:"Well, I'm happy to believe unfounded and unevidenced things but now I'm
going to have to decide which of those unfounded and unevidenced things
to believe in". Would your view be that you have found an unfounded and
unevidenced thing that you believe for some particular reason, perhaps
because it makes more sense than other philosophies that seem nonsense
to you?

I don't know who you're talking to, but it ain't me.

Quote:I think if I read between the lines you are separating natural and
supernatural as "things that follow physical laws" and "things that do
not need to comply with any particular physical laws", respectively.

Lol, you ain't readin between anything, brother, that's explicitly what I'm saying Cool

Quote:The supernatural then evades proof only in the sense that it can be
redefined to skirt around the foundations of whatever proof is
described. If the beings have definable properties then they can be
tested by science and are therefore natural. If the beings do not have
definable properties, such as the ability to interact with the universe,
then what is the point of speculating?

This is confusing to me, but I'll take a stab.

The supernatural cannot be tested empirically because empirical observation requires adherence to natural law and the supernatural does not do that. I would say that because supernatural beings necessarily operate outside of natural law, our primary tool for definition, they are likely indefinable except for where they manifest themselves in the physical world; however, even those manifestations do not have to adhere to natural law (for example a talking flaming bush). Turning right around and seeming like I'm contradicting myself (which of course I aint Cool ), the supernatural, as a category of definition, has certain demands. By that I mean, cookie demands certain characteristics of an object, but makes no assumption of Oreo, Chips Ahoy or mom's secret recipie. The supernatural NEEDS to operate above or beyond the limitations of the natural universe, or just as a bus isn't a cookie, it isn't supernatural. Whether or not the supernatural need interact with the universe, that's anyone's guess. As for speculation, when is speculation a bad thing? There may or may not be supernatural beings/phenomena in our universe. That's neat to think about. It's irrelevant for science because science is unaffected; therefore, it can assume methodological naturalism, it just can't rule out the supernatural. How pondering the unknowable is a bad thing is beyond me.

Quote:There's no way to prove that "no" god exists...

Now you're getting it Cool

Quote:However, if you are happy to list a few properties of your god then each
god thus defined can be refuted and disproved either through
self-contradiction or through contradiction with reality. "god" hasn't
been disproven, and can't be in general terms. "God" as described in the
bible, however, is both contradictory with with his own properties and
with reality.

I have nothing ill to say of this.

I can say Eddie Murphy is the salt of the earth, loves children, is still the funniest man on the planet and, say, fires lightning bolts from his ass. I can be totally, partially or not at all right about it, but my being wrong about defining him does erase the possibility of his existence. Same with God. Maybe the Biblical God is full of shit. I know for fact that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is full of shit. But none of that proves that there is no supernatural.

I think you and I really connect on "in general terms". I'm not suggesting that a supernatural being has to be or act a certain way. I'm just saying, in general terms, the universe as we know it provides a space for them. They may exist, but I have no idea because I have not experienced a supernatural phenomenon, I don't trust those who have because they can't offer any proof because it doesn't exist, and I know science can't figure it out either.

For me it's not a binary thing. It isn't, you either believe in the supernatural or believe in the natural and love science. There is the question of the natural universe. Science is a fantastic tool for investigating that aspect of life. There is the question of the presence/influence of the supernatural. We have not developed a tool to investigate that, so we don't know.

Quote:Naturalism is a weasel word here, I think.

No. It's the core of the central argument. You redefine the discussion if you wish it away.

It doesn't matter if science is better or worse than philosophy. No one is advocating eliminating science (well I'm sure some fucking whackjobs are, but no one here). Science has limitations. That doesn't invalidate science, it simply recognises a truth. And that, last time I checked, was what we were interested in. All of this "science is better" talk doesn't serve anything. It only distracts. I don't trust anyone or anything that suggests they/it can do no wrong.

Quote:...but what do you know? It turns out that so far all of the physical laws
we have discovered do hold. Reality doesn't change under our feet.
Experiments performed yesterday produced the same results as the same
experiments a hundred years ago.

I do know that Cool

They're called natural laws, not natural suggestions. They do hold. They are constant. Scientific experiments are consistent. But that has nothing to do whatsoever with the supernatural.

Quote:So, although it is reasonable to question whether the laws of the
universe are constant or not and to continue questioning this - the
answer science is giving us and has been for hundreds of years is that
the universe is so far complying with this assumption.

This is a logical fallacy.

Science allows us to do one thing and one thing only. Understand the natural universe. And it does that job exceptionally well. We're very confident that natural law exists. But the logical fallacy is the jump from natural law exists to; therefore, the supernatural cannot.

It's also wonky to say that something doesn't exist because my tool that is incapable of making any comment on it whatsoever can't see it.

Methodological naturalism makes one assumption. That EVERYTHING has a material explanation. It is that assumption and that assumption alone that is not provable. But that assumption has been accepted as the truth. It is not. That's pretty much the gist of what I'm saying. Me and science are buddies outside of that Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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