That's Not Evidence
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13-08-2015, 06:16 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
A real elephant vs. an imaginary elephant.

How much evidence can we gather about the real elephant ? How many different values can we measure ?

Of these two things it would seem quite evident which one is real based on the evidence gathered.

Now if we look at the higgs boson, for years, all we had was some mathematics that predicted its existence. We didn't have any evidence , but we had some reasons to suspect it might exist.

We didn't imagine it existed nor used faith to say that we were certain it existed. We didn't feel it. We did some rather complex math and that math lead us to the idea that we were missing something in our model.

We went searching for something we thought was there and we found it.

We didn't think that the higgs was an intelligent particle that had super powers and caused socks to disappear. We had no reason to add any of those qualifiers to it.

A god being is purely imaginary. It equals every imaginary characteristic that exists. Nothing about it

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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13-08-2015, 06:18 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2015 06:21 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 05:46 AM)epronovost Wrote:  You should willfully ignore your feelings because feelings are the least reliable method to determine the veracity of what surrounds you.

Just because you desire to ignore your feeling doesn't mean you actually can. In fact you're more inclined to imagine you've ignored your feeling, than actually ignoring your feeling. You're more inclined to rationalize your feeling into your assumptions, rather than being able to set them aside.

A man who claims to have ignored his feelings, is more likely to be lying to himself than telling the truth. Anyone who despises religion, who sees it as something to scorn and mock, and thinks that he can set these feelings aside when trying to evaluate religious beliefs, is lying to himself.
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13-08-2015, 06:21 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 03:14 AM)Chas Wrote:  If they are non-overlapping, then God can have no effect in the natural world.
In which case, there is no reason to believe that theology isn't all just made up because there is no evidence of any gods.

Exactly. This also leaves exactly zero room for the soul to be able to somehow interface with the body and then transition to the afterlife when the person dies. It's either supernatural or it's not.

Oops.
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13-08-2015, 06:24 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 02:07 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  What do we think?

I think you have a mouse in yer pocket. Tongue

I was going to begin my ministry by getting behind the pulpit and drawing my Gwynnies for a coupla hours, then trust in synergy. Angel

Revelation is the only evidence for god.

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13-08-2015, 06:28 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 02:07 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  2. Legitimate evidence does not include un-falsifiable claims.
3. Legitimate evidence should be capable of withstanding rigorous scientific review.

2 is covered by 3.

You might want to combine this into one but provide more explanation.

Legitimate evidence must be compatible with the scientific method in that it must not contain unfalsifiable claims, must be theoretically reproducible and use terms that are strictly defined.

I say theoretically reproducible because we can observe a comet crashing into Jupiter say and that provides valid scientific evidence but we can't reproduce that at will. But there are other things that we can do, we can wait for another comet to crash into Jupiter or demonstrate the existence of comets that have orbits and which crash into things. It may not be practical but in theory we could.

I also specify definitions because woo-ists rely on their definitions remaining woolly. For example when asking if you believe in God they never actually specify what their God could be. They are basically asking "Do you believe in X even though I refuse to tell you what X is?".

They never specify what a soul could be for example. They rely on implicit understanding. This allows them to put forward 'evidence' of out of body experiences for example but if they defined a soul as being consciousness that can exist without a functioning brain then it would be easy to demonstrate that this cannot happen. This comes back to being falsifiable.
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13-08-2015, 07:07 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
I'm not sure how best to express it, but for facts to be evidence they must have a direct explanatory link to the claim and, ideally, must belie competing claims.

As an example, the mere existence of the universe says nothing about how it came to be. The expansion is evidence for the big bang and counter to it being created as-is.

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13-08-2015, 07:48 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 05:30 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(13-08-2015 02:07 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  1. Legitimate evidence does not contain logical fallacies.
2. Legitimate evidence does not include un-falsifiable claims.
3. Legitimate evidence should be capable of withstanding rigorous scientific review.
4. Legitimate evidence is not faith based.

These seem to cover all the recurring arguments, and maybe even some of the rarer ones. What do we think?

Something that is always lost, is that acceptance of something being true, or accurate, by any individual person involves a great deal of subjectivity. And even more so when it comes to the question of God, which is often weighted by one's own negative or even positive experience among the religious, etc... Questions of truth, particularally ones that can have serious implications on one's life, can not be processed objectively, and to ignore our own subjective weights and imagine the they don't exist, is to deceive ourselves.

The Atheist, Thomas Nagel, acknowledged his own bias, his "divine authority" problem: "“I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. "

I freely admit, and have for some time now, that my greatest challenge is to neutrally review and analyze new information in regards to theology. I have to overcome my inner biases....just like theists have their god glasses on, I would be dishonest if I said I don't have my atheist glasses on sometimes. The key is I acknowledge that propensity within myself, and work to overcome it when I consider new information. I think it is a natural condition for experienced or even inexperienced people on both sides of the issue to put a critical eye immediately towards any countering information. Realization I think helps as you can kind of check yourself, and try to neutrally view the information, and validate it critically while trying to suppress your own biases and emotions toward the subject.


Just my two cents, sorry about the ramble...

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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13-08-2015, 08:28 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 07:48 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  I freely admit, and have for some time now, that my greatest challenge is to neutrally review and analyze new information in regards to theology. I have to overcome my inner biases....just like theists have their god glasses on, I would be dishonest if I said I don't have my atheist glasses on sometimes. The key is I acknowledge that propensity within myself, and work to overcome it when I consider new information. I think it is a natural condition for experienced or even inexperienced people on both sides of the issue to put a critical eye immediately towards any countering information. Realization I think helps as you can kind of check yourself, and try to neutrally view the information, and validate it critically while trying to suppress your own biases and emotions toward the subject.


Just my two cents, sorry about the ramble...

I don't think this is really possible. While we call thoughts thoughts, and feelings feeling, they're all just chemical reactions. What provokes those reactions are a multitude of factors, some that we may be aware of, and others that we're not. A claim that a man has reached a point close to neutral, or even neutral, is likely false.

What composes a belief that there is no evidence of God? What causes those series of chemical reactions leading to this belief? Do factors like poor experiences in one's religious upbringing play a role? Does an attraction to certain roles models play a role? Does a divine authority problems play a role?

If you claim that it's a belief that arises from a near neutral state, I would find that quite doubtful.
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13-08-2015, 08:28 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 02:07 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So far, I have four basic criteria.

1. Legitimate evidence does not contain logical fallacies.

hese seem to cover all the recurring arguments, and maybe even some of the rarer ones. What do we think?

This statement implies that some data or facts, were synthesized using logic into something that is going to be used as evidence. I would argue that the data or facts are raw evidence and that these also need be qualified. If you are using logic using something to build an argument, that something is raw evidence. How do you define what is acceptable raw evidence?
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13-08-2015, 09:33 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 02:07 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Drewpaul's "Why I'm a Theist" thread really got my mind going recently. For those of you who haven't read it, Drewpaul makes his case for Theism with points like "The universe exists, life exists, and sentient life exists, therefore god." That is certainly the cliff notes version, and I would recommend you actually read his comments, but it does the job.

After reading his argument I knew right away that we disagree most on how high quality the "evidence" should be for something like Theism. He seems to have a pretty broad definition, even admitting the case is circumstantial.

So, I have been asking myself what separates just any reason for believing in Theism from the kind of upper-case "Evidence" that we Atheists are always talking about. He isn't the first Theist I read who doesn't understand the distinction, so I know fleshing out the basic criteria involved would be beneficial to the arguments. I have a few so far, but I thought the community might chime in a bit.

So far, I have four basic criteria.

1. Legitimate evidence does not contain logical fallacies.
2. Legitimate evidence does not include un-falsifiable claims.
3. Legitimate evidence should be capable of withstanding rigorous scientific review.
4. Legitimate evidence is not faith based.

These seem to cover all the recurring arguments, and maybe even some of the rarer ones. What do we think?

To me, evidence is the facts of reality, either directly observable or arrived at by an objective method of reason. A method that can demonstrate the step by step trail of logical inference from what is not perceptually self to what is.

To a theist evidence is anything that helps them to believe in their God and anything which falsifies or disproves it is not evidence.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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