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saltinespike

How we know there is no God.

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saltinespike

I. Burden of proof.

 

This thread is a reply to the claims "god exists" and / or "god is possible". Those are the initial truth claims wherein the burden of proof lays.

 

This is not to say I'm not responsible for supporting my side of the argument. I am stating this here so it's understood, as an atheist making the counter argument, my burden is to simply poke holes in the positive claim. If you claim X is real and I prove you're wrong then X isn't real. See? Simple.

 

II. Evidence, science and logic.

 

In spite of my efforts, there are many who hold some variation of "nothing can be proven". This could be an irrational distrust of science or belief that logic doesn't always work. This misunderstanding of science and logic is called the "know-nothing" stance or know-nothingism because it's used to attempt to prove proven things aren't proven.

 

The know-nothing stance is critically flawed.

 

With nothing proven and anything possible, the word "impossible" becomes comically meaningless.

  • saltinespike: "Would you tell your kids closet monsters exist?"

Know-nothingist: "Sure. They may."

salt: "How about Santa. Will you keep telling them Santa could be real even when they get older?"

KN: "I don't see why not."

salt: "Do you think your monitor could turn into a rabbit and leap away?"

KN: "Well, there's nothing in science that says it can't and just because it's never happened doesn't mean it never will."

As we can see from that last statement, the know-nothingist is often ignorant of science and scientific law.

 

We can know things. We do know things. We know them through science which uses logic and evidence.

 

That being clarified...

 

III. Definitions of god: all flawed

 

Some have tried to assert since it's not known exactly what god is, we're for some reason unable to discuss god. This extension of the know-nothing stance is useless to us. We certainly can discuss the characteristics of beings which do not exist or have somewhat amorphous attributes. Could Spider-Man beat up Superman? Movie Superman or comic book pre-crisis Superman?

 

God claims run a spectrum from the ill-defined deist version of god to the specific religious versions such as the tri-omni Christian god.

 

The deist god is little more than a mechanism for getting the universe started; a not so defined Big Bang with a different name.

 

The Christian version of god is interested in human beings, listens & answers their prayers, knows everything knowable, is supremely good and can do anything logically possible (i.e. anything that doesn't pose a paradox like a "married bachelor").

 

All versions of god have one common attribute: they all "created the universe".

 

IV. Conservation of energy

 

While there are a plethora of scientific laws any version of god contradicts, we know Conservation of Energy (CoE) is the one all versions contradict.

 

It's proven by science energy cannot be created. It can only be introduced from an external source. Thus, a creator has to violate this law or he's not the creator. God has to make energy out of nothing which contradicts what we know to be true.

 

Theists, agnostics and know-nothingists will try to get around this problem in some creatively bankrupt ways:

  • "Energy is coming from outside the universe / the universe isn't a closed system." This truth claim needs to be supported by theists. We've seen no evidence there's anywhere CoE doesn't apply. Even in complex quantum theory, CoE still applies. Theists are still left contradicting proven truth; they're still claiming "something came from nothing".
  • "God manipulated existing energy." This fails because now either energy always existed... meaning god isn't the creator and setting the precedent things can always exist (why not the universe? Why need god at all?)... or something that wasn't god created all the energy. Both of these cop-outs have zero support and make theists sound like they're running to keep up.
Without evidence CoE is false, theists claim of god existing is false.

 

V. Intelligence

 

Intelligence is an attribute of god in all but the most strictly deist definitions. We know through science intelligence does not appear naturally. Know-nothingists like to think of intelligence as an abstract, but what intelligence actually is has everything to do with neurons firing in specific orders. No neurons = no intelligence.

 

So, claiming "god is intelligent" carries with it the implied claim "intelligence can exist outside a neurological structure". Without evidence, we must adhere to what's been proven by science.

 

Science tells us intelligence only results from a lengthy process (evolution). Could there be intelligence in another form that simply popped into existence? The proper answer to that question is "No. Not until there evidence for it."

 

VI. Conclusion

 

There will be some know-nothings who assert "god is beyond / above / not subject to science". This, itself, is a claim which contradicts proven claims. It takes evidence to establish something is an exception to a rule. Inventing a thing and fabricating attributes for it in no way negates what's already been proven.

  • Example: "A Fupe is a thing that's intelligent without having neurons, can make energy out of nothing, and isn't subject to scientific laws. Neener!"
Think Fupe's exist? Think there's any benefit from a world view which makes the word "impossible" meaningless? I don't.

 

Conservation of Energy and the fact surrounding biology have no exceptions. We don't toss out proven scientific facts because they may be disproven later. We revise our stance when evidence is introduced.

 

I've end with a quote from Dawkins:

  • "Even before Darwin's time, the illogicality was glaring: how could it ever have been a good idea to postulate, in explanation for the existence of improbable things, a designer who would have to be even more improbable?"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Credit goes to a guy in another forum, not myself. I just... completely agree.

Edited by saltinespike

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Otter

So, you stole someone else's argument, then reposted it here? Even though we have about five current topics regarding religion?

 

Homey, that ain't how we roll around here.

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saltinespike

With permission. And most of those topics remain inactive or spammed up by useless flaming. 5 topics? That's not a big number. Just thought I'd revive the debate (this forum has been looking so lively lately) and see what new stuff we could get out there. But if any mods wish to delete it, go ahead. I'll post it in one of the stand-still topics.

 

confused.gif

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Kaj.

Although I believe that the idea of religion and 'God' is a crock of sh*t, don't you f*ckers get tired of making topics denouncing the existence (or non-existence) of it all?

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saltinespike
Although I believe that the idea of religion and 'God' is a crock of sh*t, don't you f*ckers get tired of making topics denouncing the existence (or non-existence) of it all?

No, actually. bored.gif

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Svip
Although I believe that the idea of religion and 'God' is a crock of sh*t, don't you f*ckers get tired of making topics denouncing the existence (or non-existence) of it all?

No, actually. bored.gif

You see the problem with this conversation? The people who believe in the existence of an intelligent divine being will simply dismiss your talk as nonsense, or they accept the scientific basis, but their diving being is diving, so he can exist beyond science and its laws.

 

While the rest of us, are just going to sit here and nod in agreement.

 

And is "God" really that bad? For many centuries, it gave hope to people, that their lives were not all in vain, that after they died, they would gain something. A foolish hope it may be, but wasn't that was Gandalf explained the hope of destroying the Ring in Mount Doom was?

 

However, in this modern age and time, when we understand so much of our universe. When we don't need an explanation for how it was created, because we have or we think we have (and that's good enough for me!). When ethics should more focus on a need basis for our race as a whole, instead of persons as ones.

 

I mean, don't think about what happens to you when you die. Think what'll happen to your children. They are much more important yourself. Unless, you are like me and don't actually want to see the human race continue to exist. That of course, followed by the exception if humanity will praise me long after I am dead and gone, I won't know of it, but it will the exception.

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TubbyJ

Here's the thing, no one can defend God's existence, it's unprovable. The argument against the existence of God is a good one, no doubt about it. So no matter how much I try to present an argument, it's unviable. I don't believe in God in the traditional sense, meaning that there is no one religion that my faith is founded in. My point is, my belief is that God (this is just a name I refer to him by, call him whatever you want-Allah, Jehovah, or Bob) just is, he's not a man, woman, animal, mineral, or maybe not even 'existensial' by our definition of the term, by that I mean being of material or substance. He (She, It) is (as I believe) is a lot like the Force in Star Wars (that's the level of nerdiness I've reached, referring to an omnipetent being to the Force, anyways...). It isn't there, but it's all around us. It controls everything, omnipetent. It is intelligent, though has no brain nor nervous system. It behaves in mysterious ways, but has an ultimate purpose. It is perhaps loving to living things, it has shifted and molded the universe and more importantly the Earth to meet life's demands (exactly right distance from the sun, liquid water, right temperature, exactly right tilt, weather conditions, and a slew of other things that make life possible so uncannily compared to the lifeless void of the known universe). It may have created an after-conciousness, or 'Heaven' if you will. It's even used 'prophets' to spread of it's existence (Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammed), although how they interpret it's existence is through their one eyes. I can't necessarily touch it, see it, hear it, or sense it all. This being, force, or energy (perhaps all three, depending on your description) has caused the Big Bang, expansion of the universe, the Fall of the Roman Empire, the Black Plague, World War II, and even life itself. We can not think or comprehend anything at it's level, it is the ultimate intelligence. It has always been, just like the void of the universe itself.

 

Or maybe, alas, I'm just holding on to false hope. I've stripped down my beliefs so much to fit what science has said is impossible. So here is something that I've figured that is somewhat logical, probable, and damn near (if not, impossible) to explain, negate or disprove. But maybe I should just say "Well, life (and by association, eventually me)are just a bunch of very improbable coincidences, and just a fluke of nature and the universe. So is my mother, father, grandparents, three little sisters, and my future children. My emotions are nothing more than neurons in my brain, love is just a weird circuitry in my brain that got mixed up somewhere in there with reproducing and protecting my young. I'm going to go through life, because it's not special anyways, messing around, then I die. There's nothing afterward. I just stop. I can't even think about how much it sucks, because my brain has stopped. My neurons won't work, so I'm gone and nothing happens. I have no soul, no conciousness. I'm just gone. Emptiness. Although I wouldn't know it's empty, because I have completely ceased being" Excuse my language, but f*ck that. I'm not just some chemicals and my complex thoughts and emotions aren't just some electrical pulses, I'm a living being. I have a 'soul' (for lack of a better word, although I would use 'everlasting conciousness').

 

Einstein said on his death bed that the universe is too in place and perfect for there not to be a God. Most people don't know this, but if the Big Bang had more than or less than one ten-thousandth of it's energy that the universe would never have formed? They also don't know that life has (in our knowledge) never existed elsewhere (although it probably does) and some of the precise conditions that Earth has to produce it. There is something at work here, not just extreme, astronomical flukes and coincidences.

Edited by TubbyJ

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Im Rick James B**ch!

 

He (She, It) is (as I believe) is a lot like the Force in Star Wars (that's the level of nerdiness I've reached, referring to an omnipetent being to the Force, anyways...).

In Australia Jedi knighthood is a recognized religion. I just thought it enlighten you of that random fact.

 

Anyway...

I think people should spend less time proving/disproving God on a personal level. How does God's existence/ nonexistence change your life? It shouldn't. If your lifestyle or morality is founded around the teachings of God it still shouldn't matter. Do you live "correctly" because you fear afterlife karma? If you do you are a pussy. Only embrace those principles which you truly believe.

 

On the subject of morality; i hate Christian's (my life has mostly introduced me to Christians and Atheists so I ignore alternative religions which have the same inherent flaws and instead solely disparage Christianity as if it is the only religion) who believe that without religious presence, morals wouldn't exist (morals always exist. What i think they are saying is that the moral standards would lower incredibly without the presence of religion). Most basic human morals are biological instinct. The remainder of our morals are a result of empathy (which has arguably become more prevalent). Absence of religion wouldn't lower moral standards to the degree in which they would have you believe. I wouldn't go as far to say that religion doesn't assist ethics. Religion compels followers to obey ethics, and sets ethical standards for its followers. This does affect (effect?) general ethical standards even in societies without communally accepted religion. But religion does not dictate ethics to the believed degree.

 

btw, was it necessary to create another religion v science topic.

 

This thread is a reply

Than post a reply, not a new topic.

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Saggy

The idea that a "know-nothingest" approach is a bad thing is kind of naive. I am not sure who said, "True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing at all." That paraphrasing is probably when Einstein said it, but I believe the sentiment goes back to Greek philosophers.

 

That's sort of a side comment, though, as I don't really see how it reflects on this. This subject of atheism trying to convince those who believe in God he does not exist is really pointless.

 

The argument in itself is useless Its goal is to dispute an argument which is totally scientifically flawed, attempting to apply logic to a completely illogical matter. The sooner people realize that most people choose to believe in something--whether it be God or science--the better.

 

I know you guys are shouting, "Science isn't a belief," and you're right; however, it can be a belief. Some people are willing to accept any answer that "science" offers us, without really examining the true nature of the question we're asking. You can't prove that God exists, and you cannot prove that God does not exist; Science doesn't really work on a system of disproving things, and as such, whatever answer Science gives us about God is just as useless as what answer The Bible does; in the end, we will all find something to blindly cling to and believe in, whether it be science, religion, or complete apathy.

 

Speaking of which, this argument is completely ignorant of cultures and beliefs that interpret "God" as something not omnipotent, or even as a singularity. It seems to address only the Christian God. Then consider the cultures around the world that have superstitious beliefs, like voodoo, cannibalism, and just the generally endlessly-conceivable list of things that have no place in "science".

 

user posted image

 

Notice it says nothing about "disproving fallacious, unsubstantiated, religious beliefs"

 

 

 

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Venom

You can't really consider science in such a matter, as science, or its 'findings' are merely models in which we use to attempt to explain why things happen.

 

One can expand the flawed definition pf God by introducing the much debated Problem Of Evil. It's a favourite of mine.

 

Roughly..

 

Evil is in this world. God is all knowing, all powerful and all good. He is all knowing to reconise evil, powerful enough to stop it, as it would oppose good, but doesn't. Hence God must either not be all knowing, all powerful, or all good, and by his definition, should not exist.

 

Evil is based on a moral standard. Many debate that the fact that there is a moral standard is the work of God and evil being some fangled-dangled test.

My argument against this, is that a moral standard is merely the device of authority in a civialised society, perhaps God, but more-so government and the like.

 

God created everything, so he created evil.. Duh.

Augustine, I recall, said that there is no such thing as evil, like dark and light, that evil is just a lack of goodness. (Oh look, there's still a concept of evil)

He says that this lack of goodness is a result of free moral agents, you know, pride and stuff, prefering themselves over God.. but what isn't explained.. is why something created all good by God, turn away from God..

 

He also compared the universe, or likened, to a painting.. God presumably a painter.. with a little palette and stripped shirt.

He said that in a painting, you get small horrid spots of black, that close up, look terrible. But upon taking a step back, it makes up just a small part of the picture's beauty.. heightening the lighter parts.

This black spot, is evil.. that helps enhance goodness and is somewhat beautiful.

 

But still, it's evil.

 

And also, some paintings are really crap.

 

 

 

The Christians didn't really think this through.

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K^2
II. Evidence, science and logic.

 

In spite of my efforts, there are many who hold some variation of "nothing can be proven".[...]

 

As we can see from that last statement, the know-nothingist is often ignorant of science and scientific law.

 

We can know things. We do know things. We know them through science which uses logic and evidence.

Lets begin with the fact that I am a graduate student in Physics, so I think I can get an automatic slide past your "ignorant" and "know-nothing" remarks. I know the scientific method. I know mathematics, and logic as a branch of it. Logic relies on axioms which cannot be proven by definition. Axioms are assumed. Any logic you build relies on assumptions. Any prove is a proof only if you assume these axioms to be true. If they happen to be false, your proof is false.

 

So, any time you want to prove something to someone, you must first find the common ground. Some facts you both agree on that you can take as your axioms. Until you find a common set of axioms you can both agree are fair to assume, you are stuck and your proof is not a proof at all.

 

As for science, it doesn't even try to prove things absolutely. It only uses statistical proofs. These give you a margin of probability of a certain fact being incorrect. There is always room for error in science. And while I like to stick by it, I am not going to claim that it proves things.

 

Oh, and just so that you know, Quantum Physics permits computer monitors to turn into bunnies and hop away. I wouldn't bet on the odds, but it actually can happen. According to science.

 

IV. Conservation of energy

Your claim is that a creator that created laws of physics cannot break them? You have no grounds at all to make such a claim. The closest I ever came to creating a universe is making some basic game engines. I could always put in back doors that let me break any rule in the game. Who's to say God couldn't do the same with the Universe?

 

V. Intelligence

 

Intelligence is an attribute of god in all but the most strictly deist definitions. We know through science intelligence does not appear naturally. Know-nothingists like to think of intelligence as an abstract, but what intelligence actually is has everything to do with neurons firing in specific orders. No neurons = no intelligence.

And you just hit the lowest point in the "proof". Intelligence, as we come to understand it, does require some sort of a non-linear system. But to say that any form of intelligence requires neurons specifically is ridiculous. There are a bunch of things that you can build that, in theory, are capable of intelligence. A system of black holes arranged in proper manner could be used as an analogue computer powerful enough to possess intelligence.

 

As my own little conclusion, no, you cannot prove that God does not exist. You can be reasonably sure of it. If I had to make a bet, I'd bet against God regardless of odds given to me. But an actual proof would require a strict definition, which we don't have, and a set of axioms on which we all can agree, which we never will.

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TheJkWhoSaysNi
You can't really consider science in such a matter, as science, or its 'findings' are merely models in which we use to attempt to explain why things happen.

 

One can expand the flawed definition pf God by introducing the much debated Problem Of Evil. It's a favourite of mine.

 

Roughly..

 

Evil is in this world. God is all knowing, all powerful and all good. He is all knowing to reconise evil, powerful enough to stop it, as it would oppose good, but doesn't. Hence God must either not be all knowing, all powerful, or all good, and by his definition, should not exist.

 

Evil is based on a moral standard. Many debate that the fact that there is a moral standard is the work of God and evil being some fangled-dangled test.

My argument against this, is that a moral standard is merely the device of authority in a civialised society, perhaps God, but more-so government and the like.

 

God created everything, so he created evil.. Duh.

Augustine, I recall, said that there is no such thing as evil, like dark and light, that evil is just a lack of goodness. (Oh look, there's still a concept of evil)

He says that this lack of goodness is a result of free moral agents, you know, pride and stuff, prefering themselves over God.. but what isn't explained.. is why something created all good by God, turn away from God..

 

He also compared the universe, or likened, to a painting.. God presumably a painter.. with a little palette and stripped shirt.

He said that in a painting, you get small horrid spots of black, that close up, look terrible. But upon taking a step back, it makes up just a small part of the picture's beauty.. heightening the lighter parts.

This black spot, is evil.. that helps enhance goodness and is somewhat beautiful.

 

But still, it's evil.

 

And also, some paintings are really crap.

 

 

 

The Christians didn't really think this through.

The biblical god can be in no way considered 'all good'.

 

If you take the biblical account of Genesis the 'problem of evil' argument is useless.

 

Genesis 6:11 God decides that the world is full of violence because humans are evil and decides to stop the violence by killing everything. blush.gif (trying to do something about evil) .

 

Then, at 8:21 God vows never to do it again because humans are inherently evil (the same reason he did it in the first place).

 

 

From this we can infer:

 

God wants to remove evil but cannot so is not all powerful.

God is not all knowing or he'd have known that killing everything would not fix the problem

God is not all good. He kills everything except the people/animals on the ark after earlier telling Cain that it was wrong to kill his brother.

 

 

 

 

 

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Venom
God wants to remove evil but cannot so is not all powerful.

God is not all knowing or he'd have known that killing everything would not fix the problem

God is not all good. He kills everything except the people/animals on the ark after earlier telling Cain that it was wrong to kill his brother.

God balls'd up. moto_whistle.gif

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saltinespike

Alright, responding to these "World's too perfect for there not to be a God" arguments. I hear this all the time. Let's take Ray Comfort for example.

 

"Bananas were made specifically for humans. Has a tab, making the inside contents easily accessible, has 3 ridges on the outside and 2 on the inner, making it perfect for the human hand. It fits perfectly into the mouth and is good for the digestive system, proving that there is a God."

 

I'm not going to refute that, because no one used it, but have those who believe in this logic consider that maybe we conformed to Earth and not vice versa? The world didn't set a temperature so that we could live. We adapted. We were one of the millions of creatures that survived through this. If the Earth were -40 all the time, other creatures would adapt.

 

Have you and your ancestors lived in your house for all of eternity, no, you migrated there. You moved around. You move, the Earth doesn't move under you.

 

 

And you just hit the lowest point in the "proof". Intelligence, as we come to understand it, does require some sort of a non-linear system. But to say that any form of intelligence requires neurons specifically is ridiculous. There are a bunch of things that you can build that, in theory, are capable of intelligence. A system of black holes arranged in proper manner could be used as an analogue computer powerful enough to possess intelligence.

 

Alright, let's take a computer, as I assume would be the best example to your explanation. A computer can not suffice on it's own. It needs a user. Nowadays, it comes packed with information, or "intelligence", but did it figure all of that out by itself, or was it learned by human teachings? It may learn from another computer, but once you trace it all back, it comes down to a human telling/storing it. Is there such thing as natural computer intelligence? No.

Edited by saltinespike

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TubbyJ

Wow, saltinespike, you really want to disprove God, don't you? confused.gif

 

Sure, life adapted to the Earth. If what my understanding is correct, that's the basic point of evolutionism. I'm saying that the odds of all these things happening to eventually form mankind are astronomical. It's almost an impossiblity.

 

I'm saying that something kick started all this, it wasn't just coincidence. Don't you think it's weird that the eight (or seven, they ousted Pluto, right?) other planets don't have life? If life can adapt to basically anything, then evolve to something like us, then why hasn't any other planet (excluding maybe Mars) produced life? Sure, we know nothing of the vast majority of the universe, but if it's so coincidental and random, then why hasn't it happened anywhere else (once again, possibly excluding Mars) in our sights?

 

Let me also say this to you, you can't prove a negative. You also don't know there is no God, you're assuming through scientific fact and theory. Unlike you're argument, there is a way to prove there is a God, by finding proof, which you can never find proof to disprove God. So, until you can somehow find a way to prove there is no God (which you can't, because you can't prove a negative) then there is no way that you can state there is no God.

Edited by TubbyJ

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saltinespike

If you forbid me from saying there is no God, then I forbid you from saying there is a God.

 

 

I'm saying that something kick started all this, it wasn't just coincidence. Don't you think it's weird that the eight (or seven, they ousted Pluto, right?) other planets don't have life? If life can adapt to basically anything, then evolve to something like us, then why hasn't any other planet (excluding maybe Mars) produced life? Sure, we know nothing of the vast majority of the universe, but if it's so coincidental and random, then why hasn't it happened anywhere else (once again, possibly excluding Mars) in our sights?

 

How can you know? You're assuming, when the only way we can study them is through pictures? Those that are made of gas, we cannot see through. Maybe there's something inside there. Point is, you cannot assume things because they are improbable. Now, if you wish to give me further evidence supporting your theory, go right ahead.

 

 

Wow, saltinespike, you really want to disprove God, don't you? confused.gif

 

Nah, just wanted to fire up a debate. I'm just taking the other side. smile.gif

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TubbyJ

I'm saying that it is within the realm of possibility for me prove God's existence. The theory of "God can't exist" is unprovable, you can really only say "it's very unlikely that God doesn't exist", which is feasible and valid.

 

Just like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, the jackelope, and UFO's are possible to prove. You could eventually have evidence of Bigfoot, but no one can ever say he just doesn't exist.

 

 

If you forbid me from saying there is no God, then I forbid you from saying there is a God.

 

I never forbade you from anything, I don't know where you got that. I'm just presenting a point.

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TheJkWhoSaysNi

 

Let me also say this to you, you can't prove a negative. You also don't know there is no God, you're assuming through scientific fact and theory. Unlike you're argument, there is a way to prove there is a God, by finding proof, which you can never find proof to disprove God. So, until you can somehow find a way to prove there is no God (which you can't, because you can't prove a negative) then there is no way that you can state there is no God.

You can prove a negative by showing a countering positive.

 

For example, if I say that "there is no money in my pockets," the only evidence I have is showing what is in my pockets. I demonstrate a positive which has meaning on its opposite (the opposite must be false).

 

 

The argument that "theism and atheism are equally plausible" is ridiculous.

 

 

 

If I told you "I have a dragon living in my garden".

 

Do you believe me?

 

Is it a faith based to believe I'm lying?

 

No, it's not. You'd ask to see proof of said dragon before believing me.

 

 

If the default position on every unknown is "it might exist" then the flying spaghetti monster by your logic is equally as plausible as god.

 

So where do you stop? If everything imaginable "might exist" then you end up in a strange situation where anything is possible. We have to consider the fact that there there may infact be a monster under a little girls bed. My computer could suddenly turn in to a horse. You can't prove it wont.

 

Lets flip this around. How do you prove something does exist? You've seen pictures of the planet mars, but does it actually exist? Can you prove it exists? Photos can be faked. There is slight chance that it does not exist but it's so small that for all intents and purposes it does exist.

 

It's the same with FSM, God, the monster under the bed and everything else. There is a slight chance they exist but there's no point entertaining the idea that they do.

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saltinespike

Agreed with JK.

 

There could be an alien out there from Krypton coming to save our Earth (Superman), and an evil bald guy that tries killing him all the time (Lex Luthor). You leave everything open, as I said in the first post.

 

 

saltinespike: "Would you tell your kids closet monsters exist?"

Know-nothingist: "Sure. They may."

salt: "How about Santa. Will you keep telling them Santa could be real even when they get older?"

KN: "I don't see why not."

salt: "Do you think your monitor could turn into a rabbit and leap away?"

KN: "Well, there's nothing in science that says it can't and just because it's never happened doesn't mean it never will."

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K^2

 

Alright, let's take a computer, as I assume would be the best example to your explanation. A computer can not suffice on it's own. It needs a user. Nowadays, it comes packed with information, or "intelligence", but did it figure all of that out by itself, or was it learned by human teachings? It may learn from another computer, but once you trace it all back, it comes down to a human telling/storing it. Is there such thing as natural computer intelligence? No.

Human brain = Turing complete finite state machine. Computer = Turing complete finite state machine. The only way for a human to possess qualities that a machine cannot is for the human to possess some sort of a metaphysical soul, which contradicts every argument you have made so far. The rest is just a matter of scale.

 

Also, information is not intelligence. It isn't even close. Data can contain information. Information can be organized into knowledge. Ability to use and acquire knowledge is intelligence.

 

If the default position on every unknown is "it might exist" then the flying spaghetti monster by your logic is equally as plausible as god.

 

So where do you stop? If everything imaginable "might exist" then you end up in a strange situation where anything is possible. We have to consider the fact that there there may infact be a monster under a little girls bed. My computer could suddenly turn in to a horse. You can't prove it wont.

Absolutely anything is possible. I don't see why you have such a problem with it. We can put some statistical limits on the odds of these things happening, and that should be all you need. Do you even care if there could or could not be a monster under the bed if the odds of there being one are so low that such event is almost certain not to occur in the age of the universe? No. In practice, it is the same thing as not existing, but the claim that it does not exist, nevertheless, is unsound.

 

So rather than arguing if there could or could not be God, how about establishing some limits on the probability of existence? We can do that with science, statistics, and logic, unlike proving the actual existence.

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saltinespike
Human brain = Turing complete finite state machine. Computer = Turing complete finite state machine. The only way for a human to possess qualities that a machine cannot is for the human to possess some sort of a metaphysical soul, which contradicts every argument you have made so far. The rest is just a matter of scale.

Is that your defense? What that breaks down into is "yes it does". Mind expanding on this a bit? I cannot refute such a vague claim.

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TheJkWhoSaysNi
Absolutely anything is possible. I don't see why you have such a problem with it. We can put some statistical limits on the odds of these things happening, and that should be all you need. Do you even care if there could or could not be a monster under the bed if the odds of there being one are so low that such event is almost certain not to occur in the age of the universe? No. In practice, it is the same thing as not existing, but the claim that it does not exist, nevertheless, is unsound.

 

So rather than arguing if there could or could not be God, how about establishing some limits on the probability of existence? We can do that with science, statistics, and logic, unlike proving the actual existence.

 

 

That's essentially what I was saying, I just didn't word it as well. The existance of the planet mars example I listed. You can't prove it exists, but until there is reasonable doubt to it's existence it's not worth entertaining the idea that it does not. God is the other way around, but the same idea. Until there is evidence of Gods existence there's no point considering that it does. Of course it's still possible that god exists, but there is no reason to believe it does.

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Svip

 

Human brain = Turing complete finite state machine. Computer = Turing complete finite state machine.  The only way for a human to possess qualities that a machine cannot is for the human to possess some sort of a metaphysical soul, which contradicts every argument you have made so far. The rest is just a matter of scale.

 

A language [or a machine] is considered Turing Complete if it is able to compute any function computable. It is still counted even if it takes the language [or machine] a huge amount of time and memory to complete this function.

 

But remember this though, the brain does not work like a computer. They are very different (kinda the reason why calculating is so difficult for us, while it's the simplest of things for a computer), because they are based on two completely different bases.

 

Point? That it is not a matter of scale. That it is a matter of how it works. And thus a human brain could perform tasks not a computer could do, if these tasks were incomputable. However, a computer is based upon the universal Turing machine, and can thus only perform tasks computable. However, I cannot think of a task a human mind perform that would be considered "incomputable".

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K^2

Svip, it's still a matter of scale. Even if the computer is a sub-optimal architecture for intelligence, a sufficiently complex computer will be capable of possessing intelligence. You can expand it further, and build the intelligent machine out of gearworks, pulses of light, or gravitational interactions of celestial bodies.

 

Mind expanding on this a bit? I cannot refute such a vague claim.

Vague? The fact that both human brain and computer are Turing complete is sufficient to prove mathematically that anything a brain can do, a computer can do as well, limited only be memory availability and speed. That means that if you can possess intelligence, then so can a machine. If you can learn from environment and other people, rather than be programed, than so can a machine. It is mathematically strict, and the only way you can refute that is by claiming that human brain performs tasks impossible to be performed by a Turing complete machine. That would mean that human brain can solve problems that cannot be solved in finite time. Such a claim would be far more ridiculous than any claim of existence of a deity.

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Svip

Think about it, K^2. It is widely accepted fact, that human behaviour cannot always be computed, because it is so irregular. Much can be assumed, but the human mind can always surprise the equation. This is something that will never be doable by a computer. A computer will always be predictable, if you understand its program.

 

No matter how much we work on AI, we will never get to the state of a human mind. It lacks the irregularities and illogical parts that the mind has.

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TubbyJ
Wow, saltinespike, you really want to disprove God, don't you? confused.gif

 

Nah, just wanted to fire up a debate. I'm just taking the other side. smile.gif

Sorry, that was kind of a jackass move on my part. I kinda forgot it was just a debate, I took it a little too seriously.

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saltinespike
Think about it, K^2. It is widely accepted fact, that human behaviour cannot always be computed, because it is so irregular. Much can be assumed, but the human mind can always surprise the equation. This is something that will never be doable by a computer. A computer will always be predictable, if you understand its program.

 

No matter how much we work on AI, we will never get to the state of a human mind. It lacks the irregularities and illogical parts that the mind has.

Pretty much agree. A computer is incapable of emotions. Even if they were taught emotions, it would all be programmed, and not genuine. I doubt that could even be possible, unless it conformed to every personality.

 

Not sure it it was you, but someone mentioned Einstein, saying that there has to be a God or something along those lines. Let me start out by pointing out that many believe that was his flaw. But Einstein also said that everything is like a machine: you take one part away and the whole thing falls apart. Would their still be a "God" if humans didn't exist? God is a creation of man, built for false hope, and to answer questions beyond answering.

 

Dunno how it relates, but I thought I'd bring that up.

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Im Rick James B**ch!

Some of you seem to believe that all computers use Von Neumann architecture. Neural networks eliminate some of your proposed points of computer limitations.

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Sina84

Thing is, though, most people with religious beliefs don't ask questions about it. They avoid debate, and certainly topics like this because they want their fragile faith to be true, and won't actively find ways to have it disproven.

 

People are capable of lying to themselves you know, ignoring facts.

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Svip
Some of you seem to believe that all computers use Von Neumann architecture. Neural networks eliminate some of your proposed points of computer limitations.

Indeed, because they are build on a different architecture. That's my point, the difference between a computer and a human mind is not a matter of scale, it's a matter of construction.

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