On the Existence of Garage Dragons
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21-08-2015, 03:58 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 03:50 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 03:36 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  "An atheist (strong atheist by modern definition) is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed." Carl Sagan

Sagan isn't infallible and in this case, Sagan is wrong.

Ok. I don't think Sagan is wrong, but even so, this thread is about what Sagan was trying to show with the garage dragon example. Learning how Sagan approached claims is helpful in understanding what he was trying to get across. IMO he was trying to teach skepticism, not cynicism.
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21-08-2015, 04:00 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 03:56 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 03:54 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Of all claims, couldn't we say that the god claim is the real world claim of the garage dragon?

The deist god, certainly - and yes, that means that the deist god does not exist, by definition.

Sagan is explicitly not talking about the deist god.

Wow....you're reaching waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out there now.
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21-08-2015, 04:00 PM
On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 03:58 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 03:50 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Sagan isn't infallible and in this case, Sagan is wrong.

Ok. I don't think Sagan is wrong, but even so, this thread is about what Sagan was trying to show with the garage dragon example. Learning how Sagan approached claims is helpful in understanding what he was trying to get across. IMO he was trying to teach skepticism, not cynicism.

Then the quote is irrelevant.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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21-08-2015, 04:02 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 03:58 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I don't think Sagan is wrong, but even so, this thread is about what Sagan was trying to show with the garage dragon example.

Not precisely. Whether or not Sagan originally intended the garage dragon to illustrate the concept of non-interactive entities' existence being nonsensical, that is the ultimate result.

And it is still rather obvious that this is the concept that he was getting across, because, again, it is the only possible coherent answer to the question at the core of the passage:

What is the difference between the garage dragon and no dragon at all?

Even if that wasn't his intent, that is the result, because there is no coherent answer that shows any definable difference between the garage dragon and no dragon.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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21-08-2015, 04:03 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:00 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 03:58 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Ok. I don't think Sagan is wrong, but even so, this thread is about what Sagan was trying to show with the garage dragon example. Learning how Sagan approached claims is helpful in understanding what he was trying to get across. IMO he was trying to teach skepticism, not cynicism.

Then the quote is irrelevant.

Either way, Sagan never came to conclusion of no god. He even went further to describe the position as arrogant. I would go further and describe the position as idiotic.
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21-08-2015, 04:04 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 03:54 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  For instance, what atheist here has proclaimed to have evidence of the nonexistence of anything, let alone any given theist or deist's god claims?

That's a straw man.

I don't know about evidence as such, but there are people on the forum (Free, for example) who claim to be absolutely certain that God does not exist. And others (Q, for example) who claim to be absolutely certain that he does. I am with Sagan on this one -- such confidence is unwarranted.
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21-08-2015, 04:04 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:02 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 03:58 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I don't think Sagan is wrong, but even so, this thread is about what Sagan was trying to show with the garage dragon example.

Not precisely. Whether or not Sagan originally intended the garage dragon to illustrate the concept of non-interactive entities' existence being nonsensical, that is the ultimate result.

And it is still rather obvious that this is the concept that he was getting across, because, again, it is the only possible coherent answer to the question at the core of the passage:

What is the difference between the garage dragon and no dragon at all?

Even if that wasn't his intent, that is the result, because there is no coherent answer that shows any definable difference between the garage dragon and no dragon.

In the case of the dragon, the difference would lie in existence.
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21-08-2015, 04:04 PM
On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:03 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 04:00 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Then the quote is irrelevant.

Either way, Sagan never came to conclusion of no god. He even went further to describe the position as arrogant. I would go further and describe the position as idiotic.

Who cares if Sagan was an atheist? We don't have to use his definition of atheism and he isn't the arbiter of all things science.

His opinions on god, don't dictate mine.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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21-08-2015, 04:04 PM
RE: On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:00 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 03:56 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  The deist god, certainly - and yes, that means that the deist god does not exist, by definition.

Sagan is explicitly not talking about the deist god.

Wow....you're reaching waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out there now.

Not at all.

The concept of god utilized in deism is one which does not interact with the universe in any way. It is a non-interactive entity. It is a garage dragon. By definition, it does not exist.

Sagan specifically talks about the god in your quotation being "relegated to remote times and places", which means that, while it might be hard to detect, it is possible to detect it. It is not a garage dragon.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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21-08-2015, 04:05 PM
On the Existence of Garage Dragons
(21-08-2015 04:04 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 03:54 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  For instance, what atheist here has proclaimed to have evidence of the nonexistence of anything, let alone any given theist or deist's god claims?

That's a straw man.

I don't know about evidence as such, but there are people on the forum (Free, for example) who claim to be absolutely certain that God does not exist. And others (Q, for example) who claim to be absolutely certain that he does. I am with Sagan on this one -- such confidence is unwarranted.

And a straw man. No one claims evidence of nonexistence. People claim that the garage dragon is laughable and should be treated as fiction.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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