"True Atheists are Hypocrites"
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19-10-2010, 08:11 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Ghost is entirely correct here, guys.

"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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19-10-2010, 08:37 AM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(19-10-2010 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, 2buckchuck.

I have never, in my life, heard a scientist say, "there is enough evidence against God to disprove God's existence," nor have I ever heard a scientist say, "there is enough evidence to prove the statement 'there is no God'." If you know of any scientist who has staked their reputation on such claims, I'd like to know about them.
You're putting words in my mouth again. Go back, read my post again, and reconsider your statement. The evidence for the validity of the law of gravity is sufficient for me to behave as if the law has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt. i would never say, however, that it's been given an absolute proof. You might wish to test it by stepping off a thousand-foot cliff, if you seek to find a counter-example, but I would guess that you're going to behave as if it's been proven, as well. Empirical evidence can never constitute absolute proof of anything so any reasonable scientist would not make, nor have I EVER made, the statement that absolute proof of the non-existence of god has been found.

(19-10-2010 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The reason that there aren't any tests to prove or disprove the existence of God isn't because religion is touchy. There aren't any tests because testing is impossible.
You are twisting my words again, here. My point is that you can test such things as the efficacy of prayer, the physical evidence that a soul exists, and so on. I was not referring to a direct, simple test of the existence (or non-existence) of god. But if god exists and you consider the only 'evidence' of this to be what the bible says about this deity, you easily can test many of the attributes of this deity as described therein. The more such tests we do, the more likely it is that we will find more evidence that the hypothesized god of the bible is simply a fiction.

(19-10-2010 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  He didn't contradict himself. His argument was that holding one idea to one standard and another idea to another standard was hypocritical.
I can't say what you do or don't consider a contradiction - but I maintain that if he agrees that an argument (the impossibility of proving a universal negative and so the burden of proof is on the believers, not the disbelievers) is valid and then simply rejects that argument as irrelevant, then I see that as a contradiction. You're welcome to your opinion, of course.

The author of the piece says:
Quote:... proof of the existence of God is not needed to disprove the theory that there is no God.
If such a proof existed, of course, the no-god hypothesis would be completely swept aside. Such a proof is, it seems to me, the only possible absolute proof of the invalidity of the no-god hypothesis. Thus, I disagree with the author. However, he's correct in saying that it's equally impossible to prove that god doesn't exist.

The absence of a proof of the existence of a god is actually one piece of evidence in support of the hypothesis there is no god. Moreover, there's much more evidence in support of the hypothesis that there is no god than there is in support of the hypothesis that god exists (and resembles the deity worshiped by any of many religious denominations).

There's no proof of the non-existence of a god, as well, so this is a piece of evidence in support of the hypothesis that god exists, but in this case (as just noted) there is considerably more evidence to support the hypothesis on god's non-existence.
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19-10-2010, 08:42 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Just my two cents.

I have absolutely no compunction about asserting that the god described in the bible does not exist. I have the same absolute certainty that Jupiter, Osiris, Odin, Cthulu, et al do not exist and are not gods. As the goal posts get shifted toward pantheism, deism, and even the "god particle" I have two issues. One, if what is meant by god is no longer concrete then the question of god's existence becomes meaningless. Two, it's still perfectly fair to say that even if this is what an individual means by god, if I wouldn't call such a thing god, it's perfectly legitimate for me to say that if that's god then god does not exist.

Consequently, (while I am not myself a strong atheist) I do consider strong atheism to be a perfectly justified position. More-so even than any form of theism that I have ever been exposed to thus far.

Now, as for Bertrand Russell's cosmic teapot. No matter how thoroughly one searches and fails to find the teapot, it is still no less reasonable to assert that it may exist than it is to assert that the Yeti exists, Nessie exists, Santa exists or God exists.

Here's how the teapot got there. In 1883 when Krakatoa exploded, the teapot belonging to a Spanish missionary which had dropped into the crater several years before was expelled into the stratosphere where it remained suspended in the nether-region between space and Earth for several decades. It remained carried aloft by a combination of a pocket of helium gas which the teapot had trapped inside and the gravitational pull of the moon balanced against the earth's gravity. Then in 2003 when the Mars Rover mission blasted past it, it became entangled in the wake and was trapped by the gravitational pull of the passing rocket. It followed the missile to mars, but just as it came into the strong gravitational field of the planet it was stuck by a passing stray meteorite recently broken free from the Ort belt and was tossed into orbit circumnavigating the planet where it has remained ever since.

True story.
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19-10-2010, 10:13 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Quote:Here's how the teapot got there. In 1883 when Krakatoa exploded, the teapot belonging to a Spanish missionary which had dropped into the crater several years before was expelled into the stratosphere where it remained suspended in the nether-region between space and Earth for several decades. It remained carried aloft by a combination of a pocket of helium gas which the teapot had trapped inside and the gravitational pull of the moon balanced against the earth's gravity. Then in 2003 when the Mars Rover mission blasted past it, it became entangled in the wake and was trapped by the gravitational pull of the passing rocket. It followed the missile to mars, but just as it came into the strong gravitational field of the planet it was stuck by a passing stray meteorite recently broken free from the Ort belt and was tossed into orbit circumnavigating the planet where it has remained ever since.

True story.

I'm sure you made that up. But I can't be 100% sure, since I'm not you, so I'm a hypocrite. But even if you made it up, you can't be sure if the idea was infected to your brains by some supernatural alien ghosts, so you'd be a hypocrite. There's always the tiny possibility.

Correct me when I'm wrong.
Accept me or go to hell.
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19-10-2010, 10:40 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(19-10-2010 10:13 AM)Kikko Wrote:  
Quote:Here's how the teapot got there. In 1883 when Krakatoa exploded, the teapot belonging to a Spanish missionary which had dropped into the crater several years before was expelled into the stratosphere where it remained suspended in the nether-region between space and Earth for several decades. It remained carried aloft by a combination of a pocket of helium gas which the teapot had trapped inside and the gravitational pull of the moon balanced against the earth's gravity. Then in 2003 when the Mars Rover mission blasted past it, it became entangled in the wake and was trapped by the gravitational pull of the passing rocket. It followed the missile to mars, but just as it came into the strong gravitational field of the planet it was stuck by a passing stray meteorite recently broken free from the Ort belt and was tossed into orbit circumnavigating the planet where it has remained ever since.

True story.

I'm sure you made that up. But I can't be 100% sure, since I'm not you, so I'm a hypocrite. But even if you made it up, you can't be sure if the idea was infected to your brains by some supernatural alien ghosts, so you'd be a hypocrite. There's always the tiny possibility.

Wink
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19-10-2010, 11:26 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Thank you, Unbeliever.

Hey, 2buckchuck.

Quote:The evidence for the validity of the law of gravity is sufficient for me to behave as if the law has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt.

The Law of Gravity is a LAW. It has been tested and proven. Massive objects are attracted to each other. It's scientifically proven. Are you really trying to get me to swallow the notion that science can't actually prove anything? If that's the case then the entire argument between Atheists and Theists is garbage because science is useless and neither group has any claim to truth whatsoever.

Any first-year physics student will claim, without blinking, that gravity is a scientifically proven law. NO scientist of any sort whatsoever will say, ever, that 'there is no God' is scientifically proven.

Hey, gamutman.

Quote:I have absolutely no compunction about asserting that the god described in the bible does not exist. I have the same absolute certainty that Jupiter, Osiris, Odin, Cthulu, et al do not exist and are not gods.

OK. Where's your proof? What tests did you or others conduct to reach that conclusion? Can I see the data?

What you've said is a statement of the nature of reality. You're utterly entitled to make it. But if you want to call that statement scientific fact, then you have to support it. Without that support, from a scientific perspective, your statement is meaningless. The POINT of science is that I never have to take your word for something. I can test it myself.

As for your teapot story, every aspect of that is testable. Did Krakatoa errupt in that year? Which Spanish missionary and how do we know that he owned a teapot? Can a teapot be levitated by a helium/Moon gravity combo?

So if you're saying, a teapot is in orbit of Mars because of that chain of events, then science can tear that apart. If you're asserting that a teapot is in orbit of Mars, we can investigate. There's always a chance that the teapot would slip through the net, but if we test thoroughly and can't find one, we can say, "after exhausting all possibilities, we have been unable to locate a teapot in orbit of Mars. Here are the tests we conducted and the data. LOOK FOR YOURSELF."

No tests have been conducted to test either "God exists" or "God doesn't exist" because there's no possible tests. There's no data to look at. There's no case for either.

Hey, Kikko.

No one is calling you a hypocrite because you can or cannot prove something. They would only call you a hypoctite if you said, arbitrarily, that some scientific questions require proof and others do not.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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19-10-2010, 11:52 AM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2010 12:50 PM by gamutman.)
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Ghost, without going into a lot of detail, all of the deities mentioned have elaborate and detailed mythos surrounding their biographies which fail scrutiny. For example, the Earth was not created in six days 10,000 years ago. That's a scientific fact. Ergo, all of the claims about Jehova which flow forth from that claim can be dismissed. All of the evidence for Jehova is based on revelation by this god to persons who claim that He was the God who created the Earth and all life in six days. Ergo, Jehova does not exist.

For similar reasons, ditto Osiris, Jupiter, Odin et al.
By the way, Ghost,by the standard you have employed to argue that the cosmic teapot does not exist, I would be justified today in saying that dark matter does not exist. Just sayin'.
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19-10-2010, 01:13 PM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2010 01:39 PM by BnW.)
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Ghost

Quote:The Law of Gravity is a LAW. It has been tested and proven. Massive objects are attracted to each other. It's scientifically proven.

I start to get a little out of my depth on this stuff so forgive me if I don't do justice to this response.

Anyway, what you wrote is not exactly right. That gravity exists is proven, yes. However, how it works, how objects are attracted to each other, etc., is all theory. We started with Newtonian laws of motion and for a long time, several hundred years in fact, we assumed Newton was right. Then along came Einstein and blew some holes in Newton's theories. Now we've got people challenging some of Einstein's theories on the whole issue.

That gravity exists is not in doubt but what exactly it is, the laws of motion, and what gravity really is and how it impacts the universe is a matter of theory. The laws of gravity are not in any way, shape or form proven beyond an absolute doubt. They have changed before and, as our understanding of the universe continues to grow, it will probably change again. Gravity will continue to exist through all the debate and discussion, but what the word "gravity" really means is still a matter of debate and theory. But, you're right that you can reasonably say that there is a force called "gravity" (or whatever you wish to call it) in the universe.

Which takes me back to my original point: at what point can you render a judgment as being beyond a reasonable doubt? You're right that the statement "there is no God" can never be 100% proven. Nor can the existence, or lack there of, of the monster in my son's closet (I won't get into the Elvis example because that probably can proven). So, yes, technically you can never "prove" there is no God. I do think, though, that there is sufficient evidence, or lack of evidence of his existence, to reasonably conclude there is no God and that you can state that explicitly without being hypocritical to the scientific method and reason in general.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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19-10-2010, 03:38 PM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
I think when Ghost means gravity is a law he means the effects of the attraction of gravity are measurable and confirmed. The actual reasons behind gravity may still be debated. (Random side question, why is gravity called a force if it measured in acceleration, not Newtons?)

Similarly, scientists may measure the effects of creation, but not the mechanics behind creation (or at least there is no law of creation yet), and so there still is a chance that is God.

However, at what point do you still consider a possibility? We could all be living in the matrix providing late night entertainment for hyper advanced beings. It is a possibility, just like God is a possibility. But until what point do you acknowledge the possible validity of all these things? Are you, Ghost, an agnostic about the matrix?

Furthermore, all conclusions drawn by science are the conclusions of the inductive method. We try and prove and disprove the validity of religion because it was an idea that existed before the institutionalization of the scientific method. However, religion is not an idea that may be validated by the inductive method. So, had we humans begun our exploration of the universe with a blank slate and the power of science instead of going through a period of time where we lacked technology and made wild guesses and fantastical stories, we would never have come up with religion. This in itself is a major blow to its plausibility.
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19-10-2010, 04:44 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Quote:I think when Ghost means gravity is a law he means the effects of the attraction of gravity are measurable and confirmed.

Yes, I understood his point. Mine is that gravity is a small part of a greater puzzle and while gravity may be established its impact on the physical universe and why it happens is what's in question. That is, I believe, the point 2Buck is making when he says science doesn't generally reach absolute conclusions.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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