Why I'm a Theist
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08-08-2015, 03:02 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2015 03:07 PM by Free.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(08-08-2015 02:34 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 02:28 PM)Free Wrote:  And still you have not demonstrated where you placed in quotes as if quoting me where I said "seems less likely."

I said no such thing.


Incorrect.

When there is no evidence to support said possibility, we DO know something. We DO know that there is no evidence to support said possibility.

We evaluate all claims of existence upon the evidence supplied. If there is no evidence to support a claim of existence, it is intellectually honest to conclude non existence.



We cannot make claims based upon what we do not know. We make claims based upon our knowledge, not based upon a lack of it.

When we know that something has no evidence to support it's existence, we can claim that it does not exist based upon that knowledge.


That was then, this is now. We cannot speak to the future, we must speak in real-time, with real-time knowledge.


Nothing exists until we discover it.


Nothing exists until it is discovered.

We are human, and that's our reality.

"Each year, scientists discover an average of 15,000 new species" http://news.discovery.com/animals/new-sp...111213.htm

You realize that it sounds silly to say that these species didn't exist until we discovered them, right?

Nope, not silly at all, because they did not exist until we discovered them.

Existence is wholly dependent upon observation, not speculation. You need to understand that we are human, and to us nothing exists until it is discovered as existing by humans.

Even if we humans do not exist, nothing exists to we humans. We are speaking from the human experience, not from any other reality.

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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08-08-2015, 03:08 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(08-08-2015 03:02 PM)Free Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 02:34 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  "Each year, scientists discover an average of 15,000 new species" http://news.discovery.com/animals/new-sp...111213.htm

You realize that it sounds silly to say that these species didn't exist until we discovered them, right?

Nope, not silly at all, because they did not exist until we discovered them.

Existence is wholly dependent upon observation, not speculation. You need to understand that we are human, and to us nothing exists until it is discovered as existing.

Even if we humans do not exist, nothing exists to we humans. We are speaking from the human experience, not from any other reality.

The ability (at any given moment) to perceive something in no way affects its actual existence. Saying "it does not exist to me" is equivocating the word ''exists".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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08-08-2015, 03:11 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(08-08-2015 03:08 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 03:02 PM)Free Wrote:  Nope, not silly at all, because they did not exist until we discovered them.

Existence is wholly dependent upon observation, not speculation. You need to understand that we are human, and to us nothing exists until it is discovered as existing.

Even if we humans do not exist, nothing exists to we humans. We are speaking from the human experience, not from any other reality.

The ability (at any given moment) to perceive something in no way affects its actual existence. Saying "it does not exist to me" is equivocating the word ''exists".

That is true outside the human experience, as far as we can ascertain.

But if no humans existed, there would be none to claim the existence of anything, and therefore nothing exists to us. It's irrelevant if it exists outside the human experience.

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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08-08-2015, 03:31 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(08-08-2015 03:11 PM)Free Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 03:08 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The ability (at any given moment) to perceive something in no way affects its actual existence. Saying "it does not exist to me" is equivocating the word ''exists".

That is true outside the human experience, as far as we can ascertain.

But if no humans existed, there would be none to claim the existence of anything, and therefore nothing exists to us. It's irrelevant if it exists outside the human experience.

If we can't agree that things have to exist before we can discover them, then I reckon we've reached a stalemate, and further discussion on the nature of existence is pointless. Good day.
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08-08-2015, 03:51 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(08-08-2015 03:31 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 03:11 PM)Free Wrote:  That is true outside the human experience, as far as we can ascertain.

But if no humans existed, there would be none to claim the existence of anything, and therefore nothing exists to us. It's irrelevant if it exists outside the human experience.

If we can't agree that things have to exist before we can discover them, then I reckon we've reached a stalemate, and further discussion on the nature of existence is pointless. Good day.

We are speaking about 2 different things here.

With we being humans, things only exist according to the human experience. It is completely irrelevant if things exist outside of our experience of them.

My point is that nothing exists to US until WE discover it.

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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08-08-2015, 04:01 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
It's a dishonesty game, played by the Believers. They make a positive assertion about invisible things, then try the "well you can't know it doesn't exist just because we haven't detected it yet" argument.

Well then what the fuck are we TALKING about?!

The instant you make a positive assertion about the existence of a concept or thing, especially one with ramifications on the entirety of existence, then you'd better have more than invisible pixies.

Of course there are things that exist before we detect them (alien life, for instance, seems a likely candidate for this), but it's the moment you start using made-up shit as the foundation of your argument that you lose the "but it might exist despite the missing evidence" card.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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08-08-2015, 04:01 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(08-08-2015 02:45 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  We know that lack of evidence for existence is not evidence for non-existence. No one has ever denied that, here.

Our assertion is that lack of evidence in the face of more likely/consistent explanations, based on the evidence we do have, is enough to say that those asserting the new concept may safely be ignored.

That's why we're talking about the pixies. I don't know that pixies don't exist, but given what I do know, they're more than just a little bit implausible when asserted as an explanation for things that most likely have an explanation similar to other concepts of the same sort.

Asserting that a "god of the gaps" exists in our gaps of knowledge is a special pleading, given that we have found naturalistic explanations for nearly everything we once thought to be the work of the gods.

I agree that if you have to guess, use Occam's razor, but I think it is prudent to remember that this will not necessarily lead us to truth.

http://scienceblogs.com/developingintell...ry-is-alm/

"We know that lack of evidence for existence is not evidence for non-existence."

Perhaps I misunderstood, but I thought that was the point Tomasia was trying to make.
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08-08-2015, 04:20 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
I am not arguing only for Occam's Razor. I am pointing out that we SEEEEEEEEEEEEEE that the universe operates through set laws of physics, and we see also that humans tend to invent stories to cover our gaps in knowledge about causation (again with the Thor/Thunder thing), so it's not illogical at all to conclude that everything in this universe, since we have detected natural causation in almost every thing we thought was magical, before, and there's nothing that suggests any other part of it will remain magical just because we like to invent magical causes in our minds.

When you come with a positive assertion (in English, "You came to me and told me a story about this concept, and now I'm trying to decide how much credence to give this concept of yours"), especially one that invokes what amounts to god-magic, and I say "No, it seems pretty likely that we just haven't figured out the full mechanism of natural causation yet", it's not Occam, it's simply that the story hasn't moved me from the ground on which I already stood.

Again, let's examine the pixies argument: someone comes up to me and tells me, "Sure, all those other things in your brain work by natural causes, but we don't understand how we fall in love yet, so it's caused by invisible fairies."

In return, I point out that we DO know quite a bit about neurobiology, and I see no reason why that part of the brain will/might/should turn out to be fairies when all the rest of it functions by natural causes.

And if that asshole then says, "Well you just don't accept what I say because you don't WANT to believe in fairies, and after all don't things exist before we discover them?", then I'm likely to punch them in the junk as hard as I can (in the hope it stops them from breeding future idiots).

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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08-08-2015, 04:45 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(08-08-2015 04:20 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I am not arguing only for Occam's Razor. I am pointing out that we SEEEEEEEEEEEEEE that the universe operates through set laws of physics, and we see also that humans tend to invent stories to cover our gaps in knowledge about causation (again with the Thor/Thunder thing), so it's not illogical at all to conclude that everything in this universe, since we have detected natural causation in almost every thing we thought was magical, before, and there's nothing that suggests any other part of it will remain magical just because we like to invent magical causes in our minds.

When you come with a positive assertion (in English, "You came to me and told me a story about this concept, and now I'm trying to decide how much credence to give this concept of yours"), especially one that invokes what amounts to god-magic, and I say "No, it seems pretty likely that we just haven't figured out the full mechanism of natural causation yet", it's not Occam, it's simply that the story hasn't moved me from the ground on which I already stood.

Again, let's examine the pixies argument: someone comes up to me and tells me, "Sure, all those other things in your brain work by natural causes, but we don't understand how we fall in love yet, so it's caused by invisible fairies."

In return, I point out that we DO know quite a bit about neurobiology, and I see no reason why that part of the brain will/might/should turn out to be fairies when all the rest of it functions by natural causes.

And if that asshole then says, "Well you just don't accept what I say because you don't WANT to believe in fairies, and after all don't things exist before we discover them?", then I'm likely to punch them in the junk as hard as I can (in the hope it stops them from breeding future idiots).

Again, I think we're pretty much in agreement, but for me, there is still one thing that is still very mysterious, and at times seems even magical, and that is the existence of the universe. I see 2 possible scenarios. 1. either the universe suddenly popped into existence from nothing, or 2. the universe exists eternally with no cause at all.

Both scenarios are beyond my comprehension, and both seem supernatural. However, I don't jump to conclusions. I simply admit that I don't know, and that is all that I ask of others.
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08-08-2015, 04:54 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(08-08-2015 02:38 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 02:16 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  There's a world of difference between admitting something might exist, and denying the positive assertion of someone who says X exists despite us never having observed anything that seriously gives the impression that it would/could/should.

It's especially suspect when X is something that was once a common belief for NUMEROUS things (e.g. thunder) that we now know to be not caused by the "intentionality" of beings but are in fact common natural occurrences.

This person is trying to get us to say that 1) Thor intentionally causing the thunder and 2) the lightning naturally causing the air molecules to expand so rapidly that they create sound waves are equally plausible.

If you are to posit a supernatural explanation for something unknown, where all other similar things have turned out to have a natural explanation, you'd better have some serious backing to your ideas. "It looks like it" is not even close to serious, especially given that we've already shown the human tendency to ascribe causality to things that are now KNOWN to be unintentional-causation. (Again, the lightning, or the Germ Theory of Disease.)

I think we're pretty much in agreement.

The only point that I want to make is that lack of evidence for existence, does not equal evidence for non-existence.

However, the lack of evidence that should be there is evidence of absence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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