Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
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24-07-2012, 03:33 PM
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
(24-07-2012 03:30 PM)Magoo Wrote:  @A2

But if it impossible to gather evidense that the earth is not 6000 years old, and you can't gather evidense that it is (because there is none), how will you know whether it is or not? I think my argument above explained that.

(the quote system on mobile is broken)

You can gather evidence of a postive claim, rather than a negative so, for instance:
The earth is older than sixthousand is a POSTIVE claim, you can gather evidence for it,indicating that the earth is older, disqualifies the six thousand year old hypothesis. You can't prove a negative, without the evidence showing you a postive claim.

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24-07-2012, 03:57 PM
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
Basically... what Atothetheist said. You can prove positives, but you can't prove negatives. Basically, whether you like that idea or not, you cannot use it when it comes to (the traditional sense of) a god.

There could be a god, 1mm tall, living under the shell of an animal on some remote distant life-sustaining planet. You will never be able to prove that such a god does not exist. Nor is it useful to try to.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. And that's the theist's problem, not the atheist's.

So, Magoo, avoid that line of argument at all costs. You will be buried alive by the first logically-capable theist that you encounter.
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24-07-2012, 04:11 PM
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
(24-07-2012 01:56 PM)Magoo Wrote:  So I have been thinking about gnostic atheism a little bit. Now, the arguments I am about to present are probably flawed and wrong, but sure I would like to tell you anyway Drinking Beverage

1. Okay, lets say for example that somebody believes there is a lump of metal under a certain area. You then get a metal detector, assuming of course that is working normally, and you scan over the area that the person believes there is lump of metal beneath. The metal detector shows no result. Now, there is no evidence to suggest that there is a lump of metal there, but yet you know there isn't because of this lack of evidence.

2. Another example, you want to know whether or not your phone is in your kitchen. You know that is was turned on when you last had it, which was only 10 minutes ago, the battery was full, it wasn't on silent, and it has full reception. In order to see if your phone is in your phone is in your kitchen, you call it using another phone. No sound occurs. You would then conclude that your phone is definately not in the kitchen. Why? Well there is a lack of evidence to suggest it is in there, because you just called it and nothing happened, therefore you know it isn't in there because of this.

Now this is where God comes in, if the previous examples are correct, and a lack of evidence means that the object doesn't exist, then God can't exist. There is no evidence to suggest that he does exist, therefore he doesn't.

I'm expecting somebody to debunk my claims, but it was nice to try anyway Shy

I think what you're doing here is proving something that runs contrary to an assertion. You know X, which means not Y, because X and Y cannot coexist.

However, with religious statements, you can only do this to an extent (others would disagree, probably.)

We cannot say there is no God (you cannot prove this.)
We should be able to claim, however, that the Bible cannot be the inerrant word of a supernatural deity, because, for example, it has contradictions. Claiming the Bible is (100%) correct requires contradictions to be true, and therefore the Bible is not inerrant. However, this does not disprove the Christian God.

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned" - Anonymous
I am glad to live where there is no God, for I am moral, and mortal; I do not wish to worship He who crafts an immoral immortality.
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24-07-2012, 04:15 PM
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
Also, say you have a detective investigating a murder case.

He initially doesn't have any evidence that the killer did it, but that doesn't mean the killer is innocent. If there is absolutely no evidence, we cannot say that the murder did not take place. If evidence exists and is discovered, then we can say so.

If you prove a statement that contradicts a negative, then the negative should be proven incorrect.

If you only have a lack of evidence, new evidence may prove the statement, so no absolute statement should be made (although, in reality it is safe to say that there is no Easter Bunny. We can assume this, but cannot prove it, even though there is a lack of evidence.)

Of course, though, someone will probably disagree with this, but this is what I think.

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned" - Anonymous
I am glad to live where there is no God, for I am moral, and mortal; I do not wish to worship He who crafts an immoral immortality.
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24-07-2012, 04:28 PM
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
Ok.

1 - You're Albert Einstein and you suggest that there are black holes, but there's no evidence; therefore, they don't exist.

2 - You're the Wright brothers. You suggest humans can fly. None have. Therefore it's impossible.

3 - Someone tells you that there are cars. You sit by the road for five minutes and don't see any; therefore, they don't exist.

4 - Someone tells you there are barracuda. You snorkel for five minutes and don't see any; therefore, they don't exist.

Lack of proof proves nothing. It can be suggestive. Skepticism can be healthy. But proof is definitive. Case closed.

Suggesting that the lack of evidence for God is proof he cannot exist is, drum roll, mental gymnastics.

Hey, Vosur.

Good catch on the universal negative.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-07-2012, 04:54 PM
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
(24-07-2012 04:28 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Ok.

1 - You're Albert Einstein and you suggest that there are black holes, but there's no evidence; therefore, they don't exist.

2 - You're the Wright brothers. You suggest humans can fly. None have. Therefore it's impossible.

3 - Someone tells you that there are cars. You sit by the road for five minutes and don't see any; therefore, they don't exist.

4 - Someone tells you there are barracuda. You snorkel for five minutes and don't see any; therefore, they don't exist.

Lack of proof proves nothing. It can be suggestive. Skepticism can be healthy. But proof is definitive. Case closed.

Suggesting that the lack of evidence for God is proof he cannot exist is, drum roll, mental gymnastics.

Hey, Vosur.

Good catch on the universal negative.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I wouldn't go so far as to claim it proves nothing, but rather that it is inconclusive. If barracudas didn't exist, you'd expect to find none. It's true that it's not proof of their nonexistence, but that's why science includes things like large sample sizes and collection of data (such as where barracuda might be found) -- to fix these problems. But even with a small sample size and little data, what you have is evidence against the proposition, and if there is no evidence for the proposition (and in this example their clearly is an abundance showing that they do exist) then we should be pressed to believe that barracudas do not exist. It's not just about evidence but about weighing the evidence, which means that you can't cherry-pick the data or ignore one side's evidence.

In the better example of prayer, we expect to find a correlation between what is prayed for and what is actually received. Time and time again, prayer studies find that prayer doesn't do anything. Does this prove that prayer is ineffective? No. Like these guys already said, you can't prove a negative. But it is evidence against the efficacy of prayer, so when somebody makes the positive claim that prayer works, we present the abundant evidence that demonstrates that it doesn't. And you're right when you bring up skepticism, because it is our tool for coming to a conclusion when discussing a negative claim for which there is weak or nonexistent positive evidence.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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24-07-2012, 06:15 PM
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
(24-07-2012 03:00 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(24-07-2012 02:51 PM)Red Celt Wrote:  Fixed that for you. Smile
It's a habit of mine to capitalize the 'g'. Undecided

I'm with Vosur here but not out of habit. I've never seen a God but gods do indeed walk among us. I present for your consideration the half-man/half-giraffe god Usain Bolt as evidence. Big Grin








As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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24-07-2012, 06:21 PM
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
Starcrash Wrote:I wouldn't go so far as to claim it proves nothing, but rather that it is inconclusive.

"Oooooooooooooo, only a 5.7 from the Russian judge."
"That's gotta be devastating to this young man's chances, Rick."
"He's really gonna have to step it up on the uneven bars to medal at these International Mentatl Gymnastics Championships."

Cool

Hey, Girlyman.

Uhhhhh, are you trying to make Cantor explode with that gif?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-07-2012, 08:32 PM (This post was last modified: 24-07-2012 09:18 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
(24-07-2012 06:21 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Girlyman.

Uhhhhh, are you trying to make Cantor explode with that gif?

Fucker started it when he caused me to reread Metaphysics Book XII on a Sunday morning before breakfast or even coffee. I'll change my sig when I have fully recovered from that. Aristotle is every bit the yokozuna I remember. ... This might take a while. Smile

(24-07-2012 06:21 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Peace and Love and Empathy, Matt ... it's all we fucking got.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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24-07-2012, 09:03 PM
RE: Lack of evidence=proof it doesn't exist?
(24-07-2012 03:17 PM)Magoo Wrote:  
(24-07-2012 03:04 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Its not proving though, its disqualifying because we have evidence to suggest ANOTHER POSITIVE.

I disagree. If we have proven that the earth is in fact 4.54 billion years old, then it has also proven that the earth is not 6000 years old. The earth can't be 4.54 billion years old and 6000 at the same time, it's impossible. Therefore, if the earth has been proven to be 4.54 billion years old, then it has been proven that it is not 6000 years old.

What if new technolgy comes up to prove the earth is in fact 4.55 billion years old?
All 'proofs" are subject to the limiting factor of changing time and changing knowledge, and we cannot definitively state when these changes will take place.
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