The Dawkins Scale
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18-08-2015, 02:02 PM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 12:39 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(18-08-2015 11:54 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  It is extremely improbable (though not impossible) that if I just bang on my keyboard for a few minutes without looking, I will produce a grammatically correct sentence/paragraph. It is extremely improbable (though not impossible) that an airplane will crash into my workplace within the next 5 minutes. It is extremely improbable (though not impossible) that I will win the lottery tonight (yes, I bought a ticket).

These statements are all correct, and I did not have to do a single calculation to make them. You are overdefining the common use of the word probability. It exists, and can often be estimated whether or not we can precisely calculate it.

Well, we know the exact probability of the lottery and you can calculate the probability of the others by looking at data. You would probably need to collect your own data on the keyboard banging though....

I understand that everybody talks that way. It just sounds a little silly to me to claim that it is a fact that god is improbable (or probable).

No, sorry, I am not capable of calculating the probability of either of the other two scenarios, no matter how much data I collect. And I don't need to in order to know that that probability is exceedingly small. You are pretending that probability doesn't exist unless we can precisely calculate it, and nobody uses the word that way (except maybe a professional statistician).

And I am not claiming that "it is a fact that god is improbable" (whatever that even means). I am claiming that it is my belief that the existence of God is improbable. I don't know why you have to rephrase everything anyone says into such a convoluted form that it no longer has meaning.

I am not going around this loop another 20 times with you. If you insist on defining words differently than anyone else does, it's going to be impossible for anyone to communicate with you, and I am no longer going to try. You are very close to joining Free on my ignore list.
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18-08-2015, 02:14 PM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 10:43 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  There can be no evidence against the existence of something that doesn't exist. There can only be a paucity of evidence. There is the same paucity of evidence for a specific god claim as there is for any nebulous god claim. The only difference (as far as I can tell) is that the more nebulous god claims have set themselves up to be unfalsifiable, untestable, unverifiable, and not independently derivable. In that sense, they are nothing more than imagination and should be treated as such.

Until external evidence exists to demonstrate the plausibility of any given god claim (specific or nebulous), I treat them all as fiction. And I identify as a 7.


Couldn't agree more.

It appears that I'm also 7.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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18-08-2015, 02:26 PM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 02:02 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(18-08-2015 12:39 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Well, we know the exact probability of the lottery and you can calculate the probability of the others by looking at data. You would probably need to collect your own data on the keyboard banging though....

I understand that everybody talks that way. It just sounds a little silly to me to claim that it is a fact that god is improbable (or probable).

No, sorry, I am not capable of calculating the probability of either of the other two scenarios, no matter how much data I collect. And I don't need to in order to know that that probability is exceedingly small. You are pretending that probability doesn't exist unless we can precisely calculate it, and nobody uses the word that way (except maybe a professional statistician).

And I am not claiming that "it is a fact that god is improbable" (whatever that even means). I am claiming that it is my belief that the existence of God is improbable. I don't know why you have to rephrase everything anyone says into such a convoluted form that it no longer has meaning.

I am not going around this loop another 20 times with you. If you insist on defining words differently than anyone else does, it's going to be impossible for anyone to communicate with you, and I am no longer going to try. You are very close to joining Free on my ignore list.

I'm sorry, I realize I'm being anal retentive on this. I'm sure I'm guilty of using "probably" that way too. My bad....
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18-08-2015, 02:36 PM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 08:44 AM)jennybee Wrote:  Where are you on the Dawkins Scale? I was originally a 1, now a 6 (although, lean toward 7). I did make a pit stop at each of the points on my way to 6/7.

[Image: dawkins-scale.png]
I think this scale is incomplete

I would have previously considered myself a 6
"6. I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable."

But actually that is giving too much credence to the term "god".

My current stance is that I am ignostic.

The term "god" is insufficiently defined. It includes no testable, observable or falsifiable criteria. It isn't evenly commonly defined. There is no way to assess the probability of such an entity. Until a sufficient definition is supplied then it isn't worth any consideration.
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18-08-2015, 02:55 PM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 11:52 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(18-08-2015 11:41 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  No more so than it would be necessary to claim absolute knowledge when I say that Peter Pan does not exist.

Okay, prove it. Show me that Peter Pan does not exist. Since you have absolute knowledge that he does not exist, show me where he doesn't exist in every realm, dimension, and place in this universe. I need testable, observable empirical evidence before the claim of knowing that Peter Pan doesn't exist to be true. Show me.

Quote:I am a seven not because I claim absolute knowledge, but because the concept of gods is incoherent at its base.

aka redefining the scale

As I mentioned earlier, we can know that something does not exist in the same way that we can know that something does exist.

Existence and non existence can both be observed. We can see when something is there, and we can see when something is not there.

Therefore, if we can have knowledge that an object exists because we can observe it, then likewise we can have knowledge that an object does not exist because we observe that we cannot observe it, or detect any trace of it.

The proof is provided through observation.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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18-08-2015, 03:04 PM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 12:18 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(18-08-2015 09:58 AM)Free Wrote:  I can make that knowledge claim.

I know God does not exist in the same way that I know I do exist.

Knowledge is not restricted to the existence of things, for we can also know that something does not exist.

If you point into an empty room and tell me a chair exists in the middle of the room, if I do not see a chair in the middle of the room then I know it doesn't exist. I am not required to acknowledge any possibility that the chair is in the room, because the knowledge I have states that it clearly isn't there.

That is the stance you've taken many times. But in these scenarios others and myself still have the reason to doubt. I'm not absolutely certain I exist in whatever every manner that could mean. This life of mine could be some manipulated illusion as far as I can know. Not that it would change anything.

If in this chair scenario, you were just outside the room and someone pointed into an room saying there is a chair in there, but you don't see a chair. In a practical situation, sure it's fine to assume there is no chair there. In an actual thought out process of certainty in the situation, it's faulty to be absolutely confident just based on a limited view with your eyes. Perhaps there is a chair you can't see from your angle due to an intentional optical illusion dealing with the light or painted color of the room. Maybe there is a mirror trick too where it is hidden behind some tall mirrors. Unless it is explored via many options and ways it isn't wise or calculated to make an certainty claim.

No you aren't "required" to acknowledge things without evidence. Evidence at this moment is not also required to be given to you for things that may actually exist. We are always capable of immense faultiness by how our minds have evolved.

No, when the chair is not there, it simply isn't there. When you go into an empty room looking for a chair, and do not see anything at all in the empty room and certainly no chair, do you leave the room thinking it's possible that you didn't see a chair in the empty room?

I don't do that. Who does that? Nobody does that. You know there is no chair in the empty room. You don't speculate and dwell on any pointless and unsubstantiated possibilities. You simply conclude that no chair exists in that room, and you know it.

So why get all hung up on unsubstantiated speculation when you already have all the knowledge you need?

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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18-08-2015, 03:20 PM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2015 03:47 PM by Stevil.)
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 11:28 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  I'll repeat, no human can be a #1 or a #7 on the Dawkins Scale. It is literally impossible within the realm of humanity. Only an omniscient being can "know"... anything. Absolute knowledge is not obtainable if you are a homo sapien.

"1. I do not question the existence of God, I know he exists."
This claim is of knowledge.
So it depends on your definition of knowledge.

Let's get one thing straight, knowledge is a subset of belief therefore knowledge is a belief.

If you think that knowledge means a Justified True Belief then you cannot hold position 1, because we cannot know if some physical thing is true.

If you think that knowledge is something that is a Justified Belief whereby Justified means that it conforms to your epistemological method then it is possible to hold this knowledge position depending on your epistemology.
If your epistemological method is faith and belief then you can hold position 1.


"7. I am 100% sure that there is no God."
Now let's just assume that 100% means knowledge rather than 100% of anything. This way, at least we are consistent with the wording of proposition 1.
"7. I do not question the non existence of God, I know gods don't exist."
If your epistemolgy is that of the scientific method then you cannot hold proposition 7. The scientific method has not been applied to the concept of god because the definition is insufficient to apply the method to.
However if you also have an epistemology of faith and belief then you can hold position 7 although I don't know what it is that you have faith in.

(18-08-2015 11:28 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Yeah, I know. But what you (me?) just described isn't "knowledge". It's you (me?) redefining knowledge to equivocate to very, very, very strong belief.
Knowledge is a belief which is supported and qualified by being consistent with your epistemology.


(18-08-2015 11:38 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I find it hilarious that everyone seems to know the probability of god's existence.
People are just being lax with words.

Matt, would you be ingnostic?
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18-08-2015, 03:27 PM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 09:58 AM)Free Wrote:  If you point into an empty room and tell me a chair exists in the middle of the room, if I do not see a chair in the middle of the room then I know it doesn't exist. I am not required to acknowledge any possibility that the chair is in the room, because the knowledge I have states that it clearly isn't there.
What if I point to an empty room and tell you that air exists in the middle of the room. You go into the room and cannot see the air so you conclude that air does not exist in the middle of the room. You come out and tell me the Good News.
I then inform you that air is invisible, this then destroys your evidence and you now need to work out a different experiment to "prove" that there is no air in the middle of the room.

It was indeed silly and incorrect of you to assume that if air exists that you would be able to see it.
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18-08-2015, 03:39 PM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 03:04 PM)Free Wrote:  
(18-08-2015 12:18 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  That is the stance you've taken many times. But in these scenarios others and myself still have the reason to doubt. I'm not absolutely certain I exist in whatever every manner that could mean. This life of mine could be some manipulated illusion as far as I can know. Not that it would change anything.

If in this chair scenario, you were just outside the room and someone pointed into an room saying there is a chair in there, but you don't see a chair. In a practical situation, sure it's fine to assume there is no chair there. In an actual thought out process of certainty in the situation, it's faulty to be absolutely confident just based on a limited view with your eyes. Perhaps there is a chair you can't see from your angle due to an intentional optical illusion dealing with the light or painted color of the room. Maybe there is a mirror trick too where it is hidden behind some tall mirrors. Unless it is explored via many options and ways it isn't wise or calculated to make an certainty claim.

No you aren't "required" to acknowledge things without evidence. Evidence at this moment is not also required to be given to you for things that may actually exist. We are always capable of immense faultiness by how our minds have evolved.

No, when the chair is not there, it simply isn't there. When you go into an empty room looking for a chair, and do not see anything at all in the empty room and certainly no chair, do you leave the room thinking it's possible that you didn't see a chair in the empty room?

I don't do that. Who does that? Nobody does that. You know there is no chair in the empty room. You don't speculate and dwell on any pointless and unsubstantiated possibilities. You simply conclude that no chair exists in that room, and you know it.

So why get all hung up on unsubstantiated speculation when you already have all the knowledge you need?

You don't "NEED" any of the knowledge either way. It's not about need. If you wan to imagine some only practical situation then sure, that's not all there is to questioning.

What if you didn't SEE the chair but felt around and actually found there to be a chair? You just weren't seeing it because of various potential reasons like what I mentioned before. Then the claim you KNOW there is no chair because you don't see a chair is wrong. Just relying on limited observation and concluding an answer out of it is more pointless to me. There is not point, reason, or need to even have or proclaim to have Knowledge.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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18-08-2015, 03:54 PM
RE: The Dawkins Scale
(18-08-2015 03:39 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(18-08-2015 03:04 PM)Free Wrote:  No, when the chair is not there, it simply isn't there. When you go into an empty room looking for a chair, and do not see anything at all in the empty room and certainly no chair, do you leave the room thinking it's possible that you didn't see a chair in the empty room?

I don't do that. Who does that? Nobody does that. You know there is no chair in the empty room. You don't speculate and dwell on any pointless and unsubstantiated possibilities. You simply conclude that no chair exists in that room, and you know it.

So why get all hung up on unsubstantiated speculation when you already have all the knowledge you need?

You don't "NEED" any of the knowledge either way. It's not about need. If you wan to imagine some only practical situation then sure, that's not all there is to questioning.

What if you didn't SEE the chair but felt around and actually found there to be a chair? You just weren't seeing it because of various potential reasons like what I mentioned before. Then the claim you KNOW there is no chair because you don't see a chair is wrong. Just relying on limited observation and concluding an answer out of it is more pointless to me. There is not point, reason, or need to even have or proclaim to have Knowledge.

My entire point about the chair scenario was in regards to observation and detection. Sure, in the case of the chair itself, it could be possible that you do not see it.

But if you exasperate every known method of detection of that chair, and still do not detect its presence in any way, then you can make the positive claim that the chair simply isn't there.

Claiming that its possible that it could still be there despite the fact that it isn't is simply a faith claim. Hanging onto a thread without reason makes the thread itself non existent, after all ... what are you hanging on to?

If you don't even know why it's possible, let alone provide evidence to support it's possible, then that absolutely qualifies as a faith claim, since you have absolutely no reason or evidence to make that claim.

If the chair isn't there, and it's clear it isn't, it seems rather silly to say it still could possibly be there.

You see we can make claims that something does not exist and accept that as being knowledge, and accept it as being factual. If in the future we were proven wrong, then fine. But we cannot live our lives on what may, or may not be.

We live our lives for what is.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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