Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
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09-08-2010, 05:38 PM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
So, 2000 years from now, atheists will be fighting the belief in the flying spaghetti monster? That would be insanely ironic.

I think the comparison between the FSM and God is legitimate. One is clearly made up (or is he?) while the other may or may not be (I'll take the agnostic view on this one for now). However, they both have the same qualities. So, regardless of their origin, the same logic should apply to them both. If one is impossible then the other must be equally impossible, since they are basically the same thing but with different names.

As for prayer working/not working, there is always a probability that something you ask for, as long as the laws of physics permit it, may happen in the future. So, if you pray for it and it occurs, does prayer work? Well, what about all the other times when your prayers were not fulfilled? There is a probability for the occurrence of all events permitted by the laws of physics. Somethings you get what you want, sometimes you don't. Call it God's random will, or statistics. They are basically the same thing (the latter does not require the presence of a sentient being). However, until you pray for something that violates the laws of physics and get it (requiring supernatural intervention), I'm going to favor the probability explanation.

The God of the Bible is clearly evil and kind. However, the God of the Bible is also supposed to be perfect. So I see a contradiction there.

Ghost, you are right that the God hypothesis cannot be scientifically tested. So, there probably never will be definitive evidence that disproves the possibility of the existence of God. So technically, to be reasonable, we must all be agnostics. However, there are numerous hypotheses that cannot be scientifically tested. For example, we cannot definitively disprove the existence of fairies, unicorns, UFOs etc...

We must technically be agnostic about all these things. However, the probability of the existence of these things is so monumentally small that we discard their validity. So, we are practically atheists about them. I think the same argument can be applied to God.
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11-08-2010, 03:43 AM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
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11-08-2010, 05:02 AM
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
Quote:Ghost, you are right that the God hypothesis cannot be scientifically tested. So, there probably never will be definitive evidence that disproves the possibility of the existence of God.

The logic here is very backwards. There is no "God hypothesis". The definition of a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for an observable phenomenon. So, first you see something, then you query what causes it, then you come up with an explanation that can be tested, measured and proven or dis-proven. Sometimes you can't come up with something that can be completely proven or dis-proven, or things that can be proven but not fully factually explained, and you come up with theories based on evidence and logical conjecture. As you gather more information, theories can be changed, altered or discarded. That's how science works.

Religion works the opposite way. First you decide there is a supreme being and then you attribute all of life's wonder to him without any evidence that he exists at all. Any time science cannot explain something, or a theory is proven to be wrong, you'll usually find some religious person to say "well, there's God". The problem with that is as we understand more and more about biology, chemistry, and physics, God is finding fewer and fewer places to hide.

The idea that God may exist because I cannot disprove him is completely and utterly backwards in thinking. God does not exist because there is not a single shred of evidence to support him. As for the idea that you should be agnostic about something because you can't prove a negative, are you agnostic about Santa Claus? The Easter Bunny? The tooth fairy? Do we give equal time to leprechauns because I've never seen anyone conclusively prove they do not exist so maybe they do.

Personally, I believe Spiderman is a real person. I've spent most of my life living in NY metro and work in New York and although I've never seen Spiderman, there have been some pretty big spider webs hanging off of buildings lately. And, besides, no one has proven he doesn't exist so how can we say he doesn't?

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11-08-2010, 02:21 PM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
To me, it seems easy to prove that the christian god does not exist. This god is the god referred to in the bible which many claim is the sole proof of his existence. So reading the bible and doing what it says should prove that the words speak truth or fallacy. As an example, someone mentioned that by praying for something they want and not getting it does not mean that prayer did not work. However, if you do what is says in many places in the bible and have even a small amount of faith, then you can get what you ask for in prayer. It does not state what you can and can not ask for. If a hundred devout christians all prayed for there to never be anymore hurricanes or sick people and they believed it, and they prayed for it, then it should be so. We ALL know what the result of that prayer would be, and I know that there are many who then retaliate and say that you can not "test" god that way to which I reply again that it does not state that in the bible. It does state that god was tested many times and he had to show himself to many people for them to believe. I say why not do that now!!
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14-08-2010, 03:23 PM
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
Hey, TruthAddict.

Quote:I think the comparison between the FSM and God is legitimate. One is clearly made up (or is he?) while the other may or may not be (I'll take the agnostic view on this one for now). However, they both have the same qualities. So, regardless of their origin, the same logic should apply to them both. If one is impossible then the other must be equally impossible, since they are basically the same thing but with different names.

The difference is that no one is actually claiming the FSM is real. It's satire.
Quote:Created in 2005 by Oregon State physics graduate Bobby Henderson, it was originally intended as a satirical protest against the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to permit the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools.
-SOURCE

The attempt is clear. Make up something that most reasonable people would find ridiculous and say, well if you believe in something that can't be proven, you necessarily have to believe in the FSM and if you tell me there's no FSM, then you have to say there's no God. It's thought provoking, it's comedic, but in the end, it's not a slam dunk argument. It is possible for God to exist and for the FSM to not even without the ability to prove either. It is illogical to say that if one unprovable thing exists then all unprovable things must exist. Like really. If one unprovable thing exists then all unprovable things exist is bad logic.

On the subject of prayer, if your view of prayer is that a person asks for something and is given that thing as a result on a 1 for 1 basis, then no, prayer does not work and that is demonstrable. But that`s a very narrow interpretation of prayer that literally billions of theists of various faiths would disagree with.

Quote:The God of the Bible is clearly evil and kind. However, the God of the Bible is also supposed to be perfect. So I see a contradiction there.

That presupposes that kindness is perfection. So yes, if in order to be perfect God should only be kind, then sure, there's a contradiction. But again, I don't think that's what everyone is saying. Also, I don't think God is portrayed as a God of evil but as a God that can be cruel.

Quote:Ghost, you are right that the God hypothesis cannot be scientifically tested. So, there probably never will be definitive evidence that disproves the possibility of the existence of God. So technically, to be reasonable, we must all be agnostics. However, there are numerous hypotheses that cannot be scientifically tested. For example, we cannot definitively disprove the existence of fairies, unicorns, UFOs etc...

We must technically be agnostic about all these things. However, the probability of the existence of these things is so monumentally small that we discard their validity. So, we are practically atheists about them. I think the same argument can be applied to God.

I agree that technically, yes, we should all be agnostics. But as an agnostic I guess my bias is pretty evident. That being said, I'd never expect everyone to be one.

There are a number of things that cannot be proven. I think one could safely lump them into the category of superstition and that superstitious beliefs are widely dismissed because they can't be proved or disproved. I mean, the argument about them being statistically insignificant is trotted out as a way to dismiss the superstitious, but really, what statistics are people referring to? Even if it is statistically insignificant, if it's your choice to take that as proof, then I can understand that. But my understanding that is the same mechanism that allows me to understand someone who doesn't take that probability as reason to dismiss it. Neither is objective truth but they are both subjective truths. As a subjectivist I can totally understand that.

For the record, I'm agnostic about God, but I am a 100% believer in aliens. UFOs I'm easy about, but aliens? Come on. There's how many trillions of planets in the universe. Only one has life? When life is easy to make? Can't buy it. Beam me up, lads. Beam me up Big Grin

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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