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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  12:15:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy
Any claim at all, for that matter, not just the ones some people would deem fanciful.

Yeah, but especially the fanciful ones. The more extraordinary the claim, the more convincing the evidence need be to support that claim. The standard of evidence does shift depending on what's being asserted.
I agree. And that's why religion is such a controversial topic. It doesn't make it absurd to the point of disregard, though.
It does, in my experience. And my experience is more than 10 years as a practicing Christian.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
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"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26016 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  13:07:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

Maybe God does exist, maybe he doesn't. Neither one of us can prove it either way, so you have your point of view and I have mine. We don't know. So we choose which point to support until we know more.
Why should anyone be required to prove that God does not exist?

If I were to state that I believe in invisible unicorns, does that somehow obligate you to prove that they don't exist? Isn't it enough that the laws of physics and complete lack of evidence strongly support their non-existence?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  13:13:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

Maybe God does exist, maybe he doesn't. Neither one of us can prove it either way, so you have your point of view and I have mine. We don't know. So we choose which point to support until we know more.
Why should anyone be required to prove that God does not exist?

If I were to state that I believe in invisible unicorns, does that somehow obligate you to prove that they don't exist? Isn't it enough that the laws of physics and complete lack of evidence strongly support their non-existence?

Yeah, things which do not exist do not leave evidence of their non-existence. There's no such thing as "negative" evidence.

The utter lack of evidence for god's existence is the evidence that he does not exist, or at least the basis upon which all rational people must assume he doesn't. Sure, it's possible god exists yet leaves no indication of that fact, however we cannot base our conclusions on such a possibility. When presented with zero evidence, belief is totally unjustified.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  13:54:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

Maybe God does exist, maybe he doesn't. Neither one of us can prove it either way, so you have your point of view and I have mine. We don't know. So we choose which point to support until we know more.
Why should anyone be required to prove that God does not exist?




Most of the people on the SFN religion forums are dedicated to proving that God does not exist, so what's your point?

If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  13:57:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy
Any claim at all, for that matter, not just the ones some people would deem fanciful.

Yeah, but especially the fanciful ones. The more extraordinary the claim, the more convincing the evidence need be to support that claim. The standard of evidence does shift depending on what's being asserted.
I agree. And that's why religion is such a controversial topic. It doesn't make it absurd to the point of disregard, though.
It does, in my experience. And my experience is more than 10 years as a practicing Christian.



If religion can be absurd to the point of disregard, then what are you saying about your claim to Christianity? My experience is more than 25 years as a practicing Christian, if you want to pull rank.

If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  14:05:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

Maybe God does exist, maybe he doesn't. Neither one of us can prove it either way, so you have your point of view and I have mine. We don't know. So we choose which point to support until we know more.
Why should anyone be required to prove that God does not exist?

If I were to state that I believe in invisible unicorns, does that somehow obligate you to prove that they don't exist? Isn't it enough that the laws of physics and complete lack of evidence strongly support their non-existence?

Yeah, things which do not exist do not leave evidence of their non-existence. There's no such thing as "negative" evidence.

The utter lack of evidence for god's existence is the evidence that he does not exist, or at least the basis upon which all rational people must assume he doesn't. Sure, it's possible god exists yet leaves no indication of that fact, however we cannot base our conclusions on such a possibility. When presented with zero evidence, belief is totally unjustified.





Of course - just like there is no such thing as anti-matter, black holes, and negative energy. All metaphysical terms. Perhaps we should think beyond the physical realm to prove or disprove these things and look into other, more intangible possibilities. For example - emotion, self-awareness, love - all very unexplainable yet very real parts of our existence. Every facet of life can not be described or determined by physics and hard science.

If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  14:07:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

Maybe God does exist, maybe he doesn't. Neither one of us can prove it either way, so you have your point of view and I have mine. We don't know. So we choose which point to support until we know more.
Why should anyone be required to prove that God does not exist?




Most of the people on the SFN religion forums are dedicated to proving that God does not exist, so what's your point?


I must've missed that memo. Where did you see that?
I'd say most people think God either doesn't exist, or is a non-issue. It's God's fan club that annoys the collective.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26016 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  14:07:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

Most of the people on the SFN religion forums are dedicated to proving that God does not exist, so what's your point?
Really? I am unaware that anyone here is "dedicated to proving that God does not exist."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  14:11:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy
Of course - just like there is no such thing as anti-matter, black holes, and negative energy. All metaphysical terms.
Um, no. Those are real things and there is positive evidence for their existence.

quote:
Perhaps we should think beyond the physical realm to prove or disprove these things and look into other, more intangible possibilities.
Ok, so what alternative yet reliable method have you come up with?

quote:
For example - emotion, self-awareness, love - all very unexplainable yet very real parts of our existence.
Actually, a great deal of those things can be explained. Still, I don't see how what we don't know becomes evidence.

quote:
Every facet of life can not be described or determined by physics and hard science.
No, you're right. Subjective experiences which occur only inside people's consciousnesses are not subject to empirical verification. We're only discussing things which are claimed to actually exist in external reality, like god.

Or are you in fact arguing that god is all in your head?


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 03/20/2007 14:17:08
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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  14:27:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy...

Most of the people on the SFN religion forums are dedicated to proving that God does not exist, so what's your point?
That statement is blatantly false. You either radically misunderstand the position of the members of SFN and their concept of skepticism, or you're making a wholly unsubstantiated claim, or you're flat out lying. Which is it?
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26016 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  14:29:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy

For example - emotion, self-awareness, love - all very unexplainable yet very real parts of our existence.
Actually, to play Devil's Advocate, I'd like to see you prove that love is a "very real" part of anyone's existence.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  15:41:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
GeeMack wrote:
quote:
Now you're simply being ridiculous, of course. So much so that it's difficult to consider your reply anything more than satirical, or perhaps a pretty feeble attempt at trolling. If you're actually being serious, your request demonstrates an obvious willful ignorance. We could make your comparison a bit more realistic, not to mention rational, if we were to word the request something more like this...
and
quote:
That statement is blatantly false. You either radically misunderstand the position of the members of SFN and their concept of skepticism, or you're making a wholly unsubstantiated claim, or you're flat out lying. Which is it?


There's a great representation of skepticism: telling someone that they're being “ridiculous”, setting up a statement to imply that he is either stupid or dishonest, giving a half-assed accusation of trolling, and then accusing him of being “willfully ignorant”, despite the fact that Indeterminacy seems so far quite open and genuine in his intent here at SFN.

This sort of bullying is IMO why we mostly seem to get hard-nosed rationalists and wack-jobs, and rarely people in between, at least those who stick around. Indeterminacy hasn't written anything that indicates he's being anything other than forthright, open, and honest with us. He very must seems to have both firm beliefs and opinions, but also an open mind. And it was Carl Sagan I believe who once said, “You have to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.”

Can't we seasoned regulars at SFN maybe show that we practice more than religious skepticism by not assuming that every person new to rationalism, who starts a polite conversation about belief and skepticism, is an idiot?

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 03/20/2007 15:42:03
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  15:53:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox
Can't we seasoned regulars at SFN maybe show that we practice more than religious skepticism by not assuming that every person new to rationalism, who starts a polite conversation about belief and skepticism, is an idiot?
Agreed. Personally I'm getting tired of the "liar" card getting played too early and too often, if only because it loses it's sting when someone is clearly manipulating the truth.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  16:39:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox...

There's a great representation of skepticism: telling someone that they're being “ridiculous”, setting up a statement to imply that he is either stupid or dishonest, giving a half-assed accusation of trolling, and then accusing him of being “willfully ignorant”, despite the fact that Indeterminacy seems so far quite open and genuine in his intent here at SFN.
Read this again...
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy...

Please prove to me that the Revolutionary War actually did occur and it's not just a myth. And don't use any books.
That attempt to support the validity of his belief in magic by trying to demonstrate that the Revolutionary War may be equally as unevidenced as the events depicted in the Bible was ridiculous... without quote marks. Get over it.
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox...

This sort of bullying is IMO why we mostly seem to get hard-nosed rationalists and wack-jobs, and rarely people in between, at least those who stick around. Indeterminacy hasn't written anything that indicates he's being anything other than forthright, open, and honest with us. He very must seems to have both firm beliefs and opinions, but also an open mind. And it was Carl Sagan I believe who once said, “You have to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.”
Read this again...
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy...

Most of the people on the SFN religion forums are dedicated to proving that God does not exist, so what's your point?
And again, that statement is blatantly false. It appears he either radically misunderstands the position of the members of SFN and their concept of skepticism, or he is making a wholly unsubstantiated claim, or he is flat out lying. I didn't call him a liar. I asked Indeterminacy to specify. His comment was also pretty obviously confrontational. Therefore, to consider the possibility that he is a troll is quite reasonable given the evidence he has provided so far.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  16:41:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
That being said, we don't know when existence (as we know it) began, or how it evolved.
Well, actually we do know that it didn't begin at all in any commonly understood sense of having a beginning. Time and space are connected. Searching for the beginning of existence is like searching for the ends of the earth. In a sphere, there are no ends. I'm not going to pretend to understand the mathematics of it, but the human experience and general conception of time is not objectively accurate.

I fail to see how existence itself evolved, but perhaps you mean how the material in the universe and life itself has changed since the beginning of time. We have actually gathered quite a bit of info about that as well by observing the universe's past through powerful telescopes and other wonderful tools. We've been able to formulate hypothesises by combining limited observations of unexplainable phenomena with mathematical equations which describe the various possibilities, and the imaginations of brilliant scientists. From those hypothesises, we get predictions, and if the predictions come true, we get theories. And if more predictions come true, the theory grows stronger and stronger until we regard it as fact.

quote:
Matter of fact, we don't know much. There are very few truths, if any.
There are plenty of truths, and humans have discovered a great number of them, such as the truth that the heart pumps blood through our body, or that the earth is round and revolves around the sun. Our incredible technology alone are a huge testament to how much the human animal is capable of discovering about the natural world. I consider these truths that we have learned and used – which saved the lives of many of my relatives who would have died much younger without today's medical advances – to be of no small measure.

quote:
Truth is purely subjective.
That depends on what kind of truth you are talking about. There are subjective truths (that marriage was a disaster!) and then there are objective truths (1+1=2). Mathmatical truths are purely objective. The annoying part comes when we are supposedly trying to grasp objective truths about the natural world (facts) and we let our desires get in the way, or commit honest human errors. But that's why the scientific method comes with that whole step “repeat”. If something is tested scientifically over and over again by different people in different contexts, we can become increasingly sure that it is actually true.

Lots of people seem to be under the impression that science keeps getting the answers to natural mysteries wrong and then just changes to another set of answers. That is a misfortunate simplification. What the scientific method does is continue to refine our understanding. Newton's laws weren't outright wrong, they were incomplete, as is our current understanding of the laws of physics. But our current understanding is more complete (i.e. we know more now) than it was in the days of Newton.


quote:
My stance is beyond “fact” lies belief, and everyone can believe whatever they choose to.
Well, certainly everyone can believe what they want to, but people can be right or wrong about facts regarding the

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 03/20/2007 22:03:21
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