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August
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#76

Post by August » Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:53 am

Can you tell me absolutely that there is no life elsewhere in the Universe?
The answer to that question is irrelevant to my request to you to prove logically that it is true that you cannot prove a negative.

While I cannot prove absolutely that there is no life elsewhere in the universe, I am pretty sure I can prove there is not an elephant in my pocket. What does that prove?
I was only trying to point out that it was possible to be an athiest yet at the same time acknowledge the possibility that one might be wrong.
Regardless of the fact that you find this illogical.
But all you did was to assert, I did not see any logical argument for how that is possible.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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#77

Post by Blob » Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:07 am

Hello August.
1...
2...
3...
Is that an accurate summary?
It's a resonable approximation, yes, but for two things:

:arrow: you go on to interchange point 3 (the untenability of Christianity) with knowledge of god's non-existence (e.g. you say What you seem to say in quote (3.) above, is that you have knowledge that God does not exist, because of the reasons you quoted) which is not what I intended.

:arrow: my dismissal of Christianity is based on reasoning about its internal [in]coherency, not empircism and evidence (e.g. the Christian god is said to be all-just and all-merciful yet this renders him incoherent because an all-just being matches punishment to crime and an all-merciful being always totally forgives without punishment). Therefore I am unclear as to why you say of my dismissal of Christianity as tenable "I want to know what value system you are using to compare the sets of evidence." I'm not sure what sets of evidence you mean.
Ok, but you still have not shown what your premise is then, you have just denied my premise that God exists. Is your premise that there is no God?
When I spoke of a "green monster living on Pluto" you dismissed belief in it on the basis of the vagueness of the premises. You were correct to do so and required no premise that "there is no green monster living on Pluto" - neither did I demand one of you. Similarly I need no premises to lack belief in god. I only need hear your hypothesis and respond as to whether I believe you.

So what is it, precisely, that you wish me to believe?
God has revealed Himself in two ways to us, His general revelation, His creation, the universe and everything in it, and His special revelation, the Bible, which is among other things a summary of Gods nature, thoughts and intentions, and the history of His presence on earth. Christians believe that God is knowable, but not fully so, for it is impossible for an imperfect and finite being to fully know an infinite and perfect being. We accept that we can never understand and comprehend all tha God does, but the basic premise is that everything that happens, happens for Gods glory. I know there will be some objections to that, from your previous writing, and we can address those one at a time.
But what is meant by these three letters on the screen "g-o-d"? If the term "green monster living" was too vague for you why should I accept this ill-defined word as having a clear real world referent?

I dismiss your hypothesis as you did my green monster living on Pluto and , like you, require no world-view nor premise to do so.
If you have zero belief in something, how can that be based on something other than 100% certainty? Is it based on 70% certainty, 50%, 30%?
...
But you believe God might exist?
...
One, the claim seems to be self-defeating, if atheists do not know for sure there is no God, why claim there is no God? ... Secondly, although this qualifying statement is thrown about, atheists still claim to have knowledge about the non-existence of God, i.e. justifying atheism by naturalism or whatever the case may be, and holding a standard of certainty for the evidence. And you yourself have said numerous times that you have absolutely no belief in a god, so the claim is not mine, it is yours. Thirdly, it assumes that all existence questions are matters of fact, and are answered in the same way.
...
But if we were to accept that specific definition of atheism, it says that your position is true at the outset, and therefore it must be true because it's true by definition.
I'm unsure as to whether we will bridge this gulf between us, August.

For me, belief is a qualitative phenomenon, not a quantitative one. I have no idea how to make sense of your proposed percentages - that I believe it 70% of the time perhaps? I don't know. ("0%" and "100%" make sense - but not as numbers, merely because they are agreed synonyms for certainty). You do seem to realise this yourself when you say "But at least in the case of Christianity, that would be self-defeating, now wouldn't it? You cannot be half a Christian." and "Surely there cannot be 30% of a god?". Then why bring such numbers up? - I didn't for this very reason.

I think the problem is that you favour a black and white, quantifiable assessment of beliefs, whereas I favour shades of grey and a qualitative assessment.

The key to the issue of my belief, and acknowledged possibility of being wrong, is as follows:

assertions without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. (But the asssertion may still be correct.)

As such I chose not to believe unsubstantiated hypothesis and need no grounds to disregard them - if you appoach me empty-handed with a claim of this or that you cannot then demand I scurry around fretting how to prove you wrong. I can have no belief in what you claim, yet what you claim may still be true. It is for you to ensure your claim is coherent and to bring evidence to substantiate your claim if you wish to convince me.
You claim to have knowledge ... about how we came to be here.
Do I?
atheism must still account for the universe, us being here etc.
Why must it?

Atheism is a curious word, a mere lack of belief for a common and peculiar claim of higher beings called gods. Yet assertions of gods with no evidence can be dismissed without evidence. I need not account for the universe to dismiss god claims, merely point to the lack of evidence or the internal incoherence of the proposal.

If a mystery exists we are not obliged to accept unsubstantied explanations. I can say "I have listened to your suggestion but disregard it. The mystery remains." You cannot legitemately say "but you must accept my suggestion or explain the mystery yourself!". That is not the case. I am free to merely dismiss all proposals as untenable / unevidenced / incoherent etc and allow the mystery to remain a mystery.
But it isn't just a "mere lack of belief", is it?
My atheism itself is, yes. As a human being I am more than just my atheism, however.
That definition shifts the burden of proof, it relieves atheists from the obligation to prove that atheism is true.
No more than you shifted the burden of proof for your lack of belief in a green monster living on Pluto. I made the monster assertion without evidence, without even clear premises, and you correctly dismissed it without evidence.

The same holds for your god. There is no burden of proof for me to shift - it remains squarely where it belongs, on the shoulders of the proposer.

I will no sooner scurry around to disprove the existence of your god than I will to disprove the existence of alien abductions than I will to disprove that I have been reincarnated many times than I will to disprove that thunder storms are gods warring in the sky that I will to disprove that we are living in The Matrix and than you will to disprove the green monster living on Pluto... ad infinitum (for one can suppose endless unsubstantiated hypotheses)

Assertions without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Incoherent theories for mysteries can be dismissed without resolving the mystery. An absolutist worldview can be dismissed without adopting an absolutist worldview.


These posts are getting long, August. I have tried to condense things a little but if, in doing so, I have missed any specific points you wish me to address just let me know.
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
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#78

Post by Blob » Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:10 am

August and BGood:

You can disprove a negative. I could disprove "2 + 2 does not equal 4".

However you cannot disprove the existance of a thing somewhere in the universe (unless the description of that thing is internally incoherent such as a "spherical cube").
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
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#79

Post by Blob » Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:18 am

Fortigurn wrote:What criteria would you declare as necessary for verification of Bible prophecy?
Precise and detailed predictions, including a date, that cannot possibile be subjectively interpreted.

For example:
The first lunar eclipse of 2006 is a deep penumbral event best visible from Europe and Africa. First and last penumbral contacts occur at 21:22 UT and 02:14 UT (Mar 15), respectively. The whole Moon will lie completely within the penumbral shadow from 23:18 UT to 00:18 UT (Mar 15).
Source

And some further into the future (larger timescales seem more impressive):
Source
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#80

Post by Blob » Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:23 am

Hi Sandy.
sandy_mcd wrote: From Blob's statements, I would classify him as an agnostic. He appears to think that God does not exist but acknowledges the possibility that he might be wrong (as in dentist analogy), so he just isn't sure. That sounds like agnosticism to me.
It isn't. That's atheism. Take it from an atheist.

Agnosticism is the claim that it cannot be known either way whether a god exists. But I don't agree with that so am not an agnostic.
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
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#81

Post by Believer » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:22 pm

Blob wrote:Hi Sandy.
sandy_mcd wrote: From Blob's statements, I would classify him as an agnostic. He appears to think that God does not exist but acknowledges the possibility that he might be wrong (as in dentist analogy), so he just isn't sure. That sounds like agnosticism to me.
It isn't. That's atheism. Take it from an atheist.

Agnosticism is the claim that it cannot be known either way whether a god exists. But I don't agree with that so am not an agnostic.
Blob, but you have on numerous accounts claimed you don't believe in God yet mention that He could exist, that is atheism? No, that is agnosticism. Look into your own words on your posts where you mention this. You keep flip-flopping, this is getting annoying.

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#82

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:26 pm

Precise and detailed predictions, including a date, that cannot possibile be subjectively interpreted.
Including a date requirement is rather arbitrary. And anything can be subjectively interpreted...

Basically, by definition, blob is ruling out everything as being a possible prophecy.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

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An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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#83

Post by Blob » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:27 pm

Thinker wrote:Blob, but you have on numerous accounts claimed you don't believe in God yet mention that He could exist, that is atheism?
Correct.
No, that is agnosticism.
Incorrect. Do you know who coined the term "agnosticism", when and with which definition? I'm be delighted to let you know. Sadly, however, you seem to want to project your own misconceptions rather than listen to what atheists say about atheism or what agnostics say about agnosticism.
Look into your own words on your posts where you mention this.
Like the very post you quoted for example.
You keep flip-flopping, this is getting annoying.
Talking of flip-flopping I thought you weren't speaking to me anymore?
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
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#84

Post by Blob » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:30 pm

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:Including a date requirement is rather arbitrary. And anything can be subjectively interpreted...
I provided what I consider to be objective statements of future events, including not arbitrary but actual dates these events will occur.
Basically, by definition, blob is ruling out everything as being a possible prophecy.
By what definition? Asking that prophets get things unambiguously right? Hardly an unreasonable expectation.
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#85

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:35 pm

Blob sees no evidence of God because of what his requirements are...such as, he must be able to understand God fully to understand Him, and everything must be foretold in the form of "on the day of January 5, 2007, at the GPS coordinates XX,YY,ZZ, Joe Smith will receive three 45mm bullet wounds in his head, which will pass through only his left hemisphere...and he will die .57 seconds after he hits the floor.

Such as with:
my dismissal of Christianity is based on reasoning about its internal [in]coherency, not empircism and evidence (e.g. the Christian god is said to be all-just and all-merciful yet this renders him incoherent because an all-just being matches punishment to crime and an all-merciful being always totally forgives without punishment). Therefore I am unclear as to why you say of my dismissal of Christianity as tenable "I want to know what value system you are using to compare the sets of evidence." I'm not sure what sets of evidence you mean.
Because he can't understand this, he says it's contradictory.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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#86

Post by Blob » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:41 pm

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:Blob sees no evidence of God because of what his requirements are...such as, he must be able to understand God fully to understand Him, and everything must be foretold in the form of "on the day of January 5, 2007, at the GPS coordinates XX,YY,ZZ, Joe Smith will receive three 45mm bullet wounds in his head, which will pass through only his left hemisphere...and he will die .57 seconds after he hits the floor.
If it's any consolation I apply the same strict standards to horoscopes.
Because he can't understand this, he says it's contradictory.
In what sense is all-just and all-merciful coherent?
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#87

Post by Believer » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:45 pm

Attention Blob the god:
Blob wrote:
Thinker wrote:Blob, but you have on numerous accounts claimed you don't believe in God yet mention that He could exist, that is atheism?
Correct.
Incorrect. Atheism is ZERO belief in God, yet you exhibit several implications that you acknowledge that God might exist. An atheist rejects all notion that a God or gods exist and what we see is wat we get, nothing more, nothing less. The term agnostic was invented, yes, but it had a reason for it being invented, it is for people that want to be neutral to the topic of God's existence.
Blob wrote:
Thinker wrote:No, that is agnosticism.
Incorrect. Do you know who coined the term "agnosticism", when and with which definition? I'm be delighted to let you know. Sadly, however, you seem to want to project your own misconceptions rather than listen to what atheists say about atheism or what agnostics say about agnosticism.
Maybe you need to do more research? Although as I said above, I know the term agnostic was invented.
Blob wrote:
Thinker wrote:Look into your own words on your posts where you mention this.
Like the very post you quoted for example.
Please point these out for me.

Blob wrote:
Thinker wrote:You keep flip-flopping, this is getting annoying.
Talking of flip-flopping I thought you weren't speaking to me anymore?
You are quite correct, as I did mention that I wish to not discuss with a closed-minded person to which you have just admitted to and also that you do flip-flop. I also changed my mind, I think it is more fun to "play" with the hyper extremist "scientist" here that takes and implies everything he says is a complete fact.

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#88

Post by Blob » Sun Oct 30, 2005 1:00 pm

I wrote:Sadly, however, you seem to want to project your own misconceptions rather than listen to what atheists say about atheism or what agnostics say about agnosticism.
Blob wrote:Atheism is ZERO belief in God, yet you exhibit several implications that you acknowledge that God might exist. An atheist rejects all notion that a God or gods exist and what we see is wat we get, nothing more, nothing less. The term agnostic was invented, yes, but it had a reason for it being invented, it is for people that want to be neutral to the topic of God's existence.

Maybe you need to do more research? Although as I said above, I know the term agnostic was invented.
As I suspected.
Thinker wrote:Please point these out for me.
Check my posts in this very thread.
Blob wrote:you have just admitted to and also that you do flip-flop.
I said "talking of flip flopping" not "you flip flop too". No admission was made.
I think it is more fun to "play" with the hyper extremist "scientist" here that takes and implies everything he says is a complete fact.
I'm a social scientist, not a scientist (nevermind a "hyper extemist" one).
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#89

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sun Oct 30, 2005 1:20 pm

Blob wrote:
AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:Blob sees no evidence of God because of what his requirements are...such as, he must be able to understand God fully to understand Him, and everything must be foretold in the form of "on the day of January 5, 2007, at the GPS coordinates XX,YY,ZZ, Joe Smith will receive three 45mm bullet wounds in his head, which will pass through only his left hemisphere...and he will die .57 seconds after he hits the floor.
If it's any consolation I apply the same strict standards to horoscopes.
Because he can't understand this, he says it's contradictory.
In what sense is all-just and all-merciful coherent?
Horoscopes are vague, all the predictions don't come true, and once my psychology teacher asked us how many out of 10 or so statements applied to us...and after we said most of them, she said they were from the horoscope (to point out how vague).

And, how is all-just and all-merciful coherent? You seem to say one implies the abscence of the other...well, let's see, God's all just, meaning we all ought to be judged and condemned to separation from Him...but he's merciful as well because he's offered us a way out through Him. You can hold both ends of the spectrum without contradicting yourself.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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#90

Post by Believer » Sun Oct 30, 2005 1:30 pm

Blob wrote:
Blob wrote:Sadly, however, you seem to want to project your own misconceptions rather than listen to what atheists say about atheism or what agnostics say about agnosticism.
Thinker wrote:Atheism is ZERO belief in God, yet you exhibit several implications that you acknowledge that God might exist. An atheist rejects all notion that a God or gods exist and what we see is wat we get, nothing more, nothing less. The term agnostic was invented, yes, but it had a reason for it being invented, it is for people that want to be neutral to the topic of God's existence.

Maybe you need to do more research? Although as I said above, I know the term agnostic was invented.
As I suspected.
That I already knew agnosticism was invented? Of course, it has it's reason just as any other word, should it now be abandoned? New real words are added all the time to dictionaries, should it be excluded? All words become an invention to he human language. Type in "agnostic" into the dictionary at http://www.m-w.com.
Blob wrote:
Thinker wrote:Please point these out for me.
Check my posts in this very thread.
Blob wrote:
Thinker wrote:you have just admitted to and also that you do flip-flop.
I said "talking of flip flopping" not "you flip flop too". No admission was made.
Blob the Slob, you flip-flop, stop denying that you wouldn't do such a thing.
Blob wrote:
Thinker wrote:I think it is more fun to "play" with the hyper extremist "scientist" here that takes and implies everything he says is a complete fact.
I'm a social scientist, not a scientist (nevermind a "hyper extemist" one).
I don't believe that Blob. You seem to like to point your finger and correct everyone but yourself, making a claim to yourself that you believe you are very well indeed the only correct one. You still unconsciously admitted to being closed-minded.

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