Thursday, April 12, 2012

Honest Atheism

The idea is current that Atheism is not a positive assertion. This is in response to the demand for them to produce evidence or logic to back up their claims, just as that demand is made for Philosophical Materialists to back up their claims. In other words, their denial is a dodge, an intellectual malfeasance in order to avoid ownership, because they cannot produce either evidence or logic in support of their belief system.

Here is a look at real Atheism, and a real Atheist with the intellectual stones to say exactly what she believes, honestly and without dissembling, contrary to the approach of many or even most Atheists today:

Atheist Self Worship

It remains perfectly acceptable to request that she provide proof for these statements, evidence for these positions of a type which satisfies her underlying Materialist requirements for knowledge.

[Image from Mariano Apologeticus]


Addendum:


Atheist Tolerance

72 comments:

Jeremy said...

Would she be able to reasonable make this statement if there existed no one who claimed that gods, devils, angels heaven or hell existed?

Of course not.

Thus her statement is a RESPONSE to a CLAIM.

The claim is the theists. Her response is just that. The response to a claim.

The noises reasonable people make in the face of unjustifiable claims.

Justify your claim or accept that you cannot.

JazzyJ said...

Jeremy, this is getting tiresome.

"The noises reasonable people make in the face of unjustifiable claims" As in they used reason and logic to formulate their response.

Please demonstrate for us your reason and logic for why the claim is unjustifiable or accept that you cannot.

See how easy it is to play that game?

Sparks said...

There are hundreds of gods that theists don't believe in. Where is the logic and reason for their disbelief in each of these gods?
Fun game, Jazzy.

Stan said...

Sparks,
A Tu Quoque is not an answer, it is a fallacy of evasion.

And you don't understand theism. Judeo-Christianity doesn't eliminate any of those gods: "...have no other gods before me". It merely posits one that is supreme. If one is supreme, then the others are irrelevant.

Disbelief, in the understanding of Atheists, is rejection; but it is not necessary to reject those things which are irrelevant.

The Atheist "one less god" bumper-sticker is merely a lack of understanding on the part of Atheists.

The "game" is not as simplistic as you perceive it to be.

Sparks said...

Oh O.K.
Since science can explain everything I want to know - gods are irrelevant as explanations.
Since gods are irrelevant I've not rejected him/her/it/them.
Since I've not rejected them I need not provide a reason for my disbelief.

That was easy. I guess I can rest easy now.

Bye.

JazzyJ said...

@Sparks

Well, your first premise is false unless 'everthing I want to know' is a discreet set limited to support your worldview.

Jeremy said...

JazzyJ

The claim is unjustified because there is no reason or evidence to support it. In fact, Stan refuses to even discuss any particulars of his beliefs. He only chooses to attack his interpretation of atheism.

That's what unjustified means.

Hence my assertion that the claim is unjustified, is in fact clearly demonstrated.

And this should be a perfect example of how easy it is to make unjustified claims, and why such claims should shoulder the burden of proof, and not on those who reject the unjustified claim.

I wonder how many other Christians accept the existence of other deities. Personally I find that fascinating.

Isaiah 43:10
I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 44:8
I am the LORD, and there is none else ... There is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

Isaiah 45:5-6
I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.
There is no God else beside me ... There is none beside me.

Isaiah 45:21/A>
Isaiah 46:9
I am God, and there is none else: I am God, and there is none like me.

Mark 12:29
The Lord our God is
one Lord.

Mark 12:32
There is one God; and there is none other but he.

Not like there are not hundreds of contradictions in the bible, I'm just surprised at Stan's interpretation. So I guess all the gods ever imagined must be real then, hmm? Or is it just the other deities mentioned in the bible?

"If one is supreme, then the others are irrelevant."

This strikes me as nonsense as well. The king may be supreme to the baron, but the baron can still grant me land or chop of my head. But .. I'm still waiting for a reason to assume either king or baron even exists.

I think Spark's point is valid in this context. The non-intervention, immaterial, first cause existing outside of space and time deity described is about as irrelevant as you can get.

JazzyJ said...

Jeremy,

Correct me if I'm wrong but essentially you are arguing the One Less God fallacy. Well, Sparks is at least.

http://elizaphanian.blogspot.com/2008/10/reasonable-atheism-31-one-less-god.html

"I wonder how many other Christians accept the existence of other deities" Sorry, you've lost me here. Just to clarify, are you suggesting that in order to avoid being viewed as hypocritical from an atheist's perspective that Christians have to believe in extra-biblical deities too? Again, this sounds like the One Less God fallacy.

Cheers

Stan said...

Sparks says,
”Since science can explain everything I want to know - gods are irrelevant as explanations.
Since gods are irrelevant I've not rejected him/her/it/them.
Since I've not rejected them I need not provide a reason for my disbelief.”


Sense 1: Correct. If that’s all you want to know, then you are good to go. It does seem that your insular box is too small though, because you seem to want everyone to accept your little limits on knowledge. Science is right only 11% of the time, you know.

And so 89% of what you “know” is wrong, by that (scientific) metric. 89% is either cheesy attempts to add to the “published” list which the “scientist” needs to fill up to enhance his career, or they are outright frauds, for the same purpose. Placing FAITH in scientism is myopic. But you are free to choose that… except:

Sense 2: False. You never thought of irrelevancy until I brought it to your attention. You had no clue. Then you thought you’d steal it as if you are a clever child. No, your position is not one of taking theism as irrelevant, and neither is Atheism in general in the position of considering Theism as irrelevant: As you originally said, it takes Theism in order for Atheism to reject it. Your cutsey little jabs are actually irrelevant to the adult conversation here.

Jeremy said...

JazzyJ,

My position is more that in order to have a meaningful discussion about if a god exists, we must first establish a proper definition of what god is, and what a proper evidential standard to accept the existence of such a being. Ignosticism is a good term. Stan typically describes a deity I would consider irrelevant. Outside the universe, immaterial, etc.

That's rather what I got from Spark's post as well. Claiming "goddidit" answers nothing. So the concept is irrelevant and useless.

""I wonder how many other Christians accept the existence of other deities"

Was in response to Stan's:

"Judeo-Christianity doesn't eliminate any of those gods: "...have no other gods before me". It merely posits one that is supreme. If one is supreme, then the others are irrelevant."

"Just to clarify, are you suggesting that in order to avoid being viewed as hypocritical from an atheist's perspective that Christians have to believe in extra-biblical deities too?"

Not exactly, although I would be interested to hear by what consistent evidential basis you accept the existence of the Judeo-Xtian god, yet reject the literally millions of other deities devotedly worshiped in the past.

A common answer is that they are all paths to the same being. Consider however the vastly different and opposing claims made by different faiths. They cannot all be right, but they most certainly can all be wrong.

And the bible does strongly suggest that there do exist multiple gods. It also strongly suggests that there is only one god, as I quoted. Like I said, it's rather contradictory. However I was under the impression that Xtians believed in a single (yet Triune) god.

The article you quoted is erroneous. It attempts to create a special case for Abrahamic monotheism by claiming their god is nothing like the others as it is the original creating force, yet ignores the plethora of other such deities. It seems a rather silly charge.

"Oh no my god is way bigger than all those other gods. You can dismiss them because they have restricted spheres of influence but MY god is the ultimate and original creative force and thus is beyond the criticism that can be applied to Thor and Wotan."

Anyways, I leave it to the theist to both define and provide evidence for the god they claim exist. As I previously mentioned, I am a fan the standards of both St. Thomas and the prophet Elijah.

If I attempt to define and the disprove a deity, inevitably I will be accused of attacking a straw man. Just the sort of response the article you quoted provides. "Oh, that's not MY god."

Cheers

Jeremy said...

lol, c'mon Stan.

Claims science is only right 11% of the time, links to a paper pointing out that 88% of cancer discoveries are not repeatable. So ... the scientific method discredits these discoveries. That's a success for the scientific method. Sheesh.

That's how science works.. a process of self correction.

Relevant:
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Thomas A. Edison

Stan said...

Jeremy says,

”The claim is unjustified because there is no reason or evidence to support it. In fact, Stan refuses to even discuss any particulars of his beliefs. He only chooses to attack his interpretation of atheism.

That's what unjustified means.”


1. You have not examined all the evidence. Here’s why: Most of the evidence is non-material. So your rejection of the “reason” or “evidence” is based on (a) your opinion of what evidence you personally will accept; (b) your opinion of evidence you have stumbled across; (c) Philosophical Materialism; (d) radical destructive skepticism as both worldview and tactic.

2. The miracle at Lourdes is available for you to debunk, using materialist empirical experimental, replicable and replicated, falsifiable techniques which produce raw data that proves that it did not happen.

I think I’ll harp on this for a while, because when it is suggested that Atheists do have evidence, and material evidence at that, they usually get hyper and then cut and run. It will be interesting to see the response here.

3. If by “reason” you mean logic in the form of hypothesis-deduction, this very thread has presented such logic which no one, especially not you, has seen fit to even address full on, except to generated fallacious complaints about it.

4. If you have no case to present for your own beliefs, then those are what is unjustified. You have no need to know my beliefs if you have beliefs of your own. This blog is about the beliefs of Atheists and Atheism. If you cannot produce either the belief or the justification for the belief, then you must not have the belief.
(continued below)

Stan said...

(continued from above)
” And this should be a perfect example of how easy it is to make unjustified claims, and why such claims should shoulder the burden of proof, and not on those who reject the unjustified claim.”

Blind rejection is not a rational reason. It is merely intellectual obstinancy in the support of an ideology. If you reject something, either you have a reason or don’t. If you can’t give an actual reason for your rejection, then you are a faithist, following an ideology without reason for doing it. If you DO have a reason, then let’s hear it.

You have made no argument to support your rejection. So your rejection is merely a religious opinion, with no basis in either logic or evidence of any sort.

I love it when Atheists go to the Atheist Bible Soundbite Generator and try to prove something from the book which they both hate and don’t believe in. The attempt to change the conversation from the logical deduction of a non-material agent to the Atheist interpretation of the Bible is both a Red Herring and ludicrous. And pitiful.

” "If one is supreme, then the others are irrelevant."

This strikes me as nonsense as well. The king may be supreme to the baron, but the baron can still grant me land or chop of my head. But .. I'm still waiting for a reason to assume either king or baron even exists.”


You have summarily and without cause rejected reasons. You are not engaging in logical analysis, you are dodging it and trying to change the subject. Either provide a actual positive case for your position which is based in your own limited world of material evidence, or admit that you cannot, and that you believe in something with no particular reason or evidence except for the purposeful blanket rejection of things you do not even choose to think through.

” I think Spark's point is valid in this context. The non-intervention, immaterial, first cause existing outside of space and time deity described is about as irrelevant as you can get.”

And yet you purposefully reject it, and go out of your way to spend time attacking it. You behave as if it were in fact quite relevant, so your words are not accepted due to your contradictory behavior. And you have not got even a single reason to declare irrelevancy, other than pure destructive rejectionism: intellectual obstinancy with no reason, reasoning, or ability to produce reasons or reasoning, and no evidence for support: blind faith.

Stan said...

I should have addressed this:

"He only chooses to attack his interpretation of atheism."

Absolutely false. I attack every type of Atheism that crops up here. Most of the new definitions of Atheism are bogus attempts to dodge the burden of rebuttal. Those definitions are easily punctured, as is the standard rejectionist, evidence-free, logic-free form of Atheism.

I also attack Free Thought and any other ungrounded psuedo-logics which come along.

If something cannot be grounded and fails logic standards, it is not true and it can easily be attacked and nailed. The poor opponent is always forced into irrational positions as is shown here in this thread. In the final analysis the opponent will, of necessity, go into some sort of denialism mode, unable to accept the obvious logic, but unable to defeat it. And the result generally is the generation of fallacious and ungrounded attacks on methodology or the methodologizer.

So, let's do this:

Atheists: There is physical evidence at Lourdes: show us how you falsify it empirically, OK? Surely science will rescue your ideology, yes? Or maybe you just choose to declare it "not evidence", and move far away from it quietly and rapidly?

Let's see some data.

Stan said...

Jeremy says,
” Claims science is only right 11% of the time, links to a paper pointing out that 88% of cancer discoveries are not repeatable. So ... the scientific method discredits these discoveries. That's a success for the scientific method. Sheesh.

That's how science works.. a process of self correction.

Relevant:
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Thomas A. Edison”


You obviously did not read the entire article. Either that or you choose to believe that fraud is an acceptable part of the process. Considering that only 11% survived even one (1) attempt at replication, it is easy to wonder about rampant fraud, and if you are not concerned, then why do you think it to be acceptable? If you think that 89% of scientific output being found non-reproducible is acceptable, then you apparently do accept fraud as a normal part of the process. So much for integrity. Much science output is accompanied by press conferences these days, and the science being spouted daily on news outlets has to be considered probably false. Repeat: probably false.

Science with any integrity at all attached to it would publish only papers which demonstrated a certain level of successful replication before even writing the paper. In science, it is apparent that the volume of papers is more important than integrity, as is demonstrated by the data.

My favorite is the “polar bears are dying” science which the Left still is jumping on, despite the falsifications coming from all over the Northern globe. But of course that is just one example, an anecdote. There are many more. And now there is data on how much false science is being published. No problem say the Materialists, it’s all part of the game.

Edison was an engineer; there is a big difference in the motivations for engineering and for scientists. If engineers engaged in the intellectual frauds which science is producing, then they would be unemployed. Edison wanted patents on real answers, not papers published for his resume’. He looked for undeniably valid results in the output of his own lab. Big difference.

When someone claims to base a worldview on science, it indicates to me that they do not understand either induction or deduction. So a science based worldview is most likely based on illogic and very likely to be ungrounded. Such an ideology is by definition contingent and not accessing any truth, because that is the nature of science: it is contingent upon the next attempt to falsify, and it never claims to have access to firm truth concerning the nature of mass/energy, space/time. So the Scientismist has every reason to claim that he doesn’t, cannot know anything for sure, and thus is headed straight into solipsism and pyrrhonism. And that is the basis for negating any and all knowledge through the vehicle of radical skepticism, which is always destructive and never constructive in the production of new knowledge.

Is it any wonder that Atheist skeptics produce only opinions of negation, and no other verifiable output?

Jim said...

THIS thread has a lot of action. I will not interfere too much...

"Atheists: There is physical evidence at Lourdes: show us how you falsify it empirically, OK? Surely science will rescue your ideology, yes? Or maybe you just choose to declare it "not evidence", and move far away from it quietly and rapidly?"

WHAT is this Lourdes miracle thing you talk about?

"Edison was an engineer; there is a big difference in the motivations for engineering and for scientists. If engineers engaged in the intellectual frauds which science is producing, then they would be unemployed."

WOW, that's very cynical and anti-science. Don't you realize that engineering can be reliable because of research, and in turn, research can progress because engineering gave them better tools? In other words, you have experimental/practical sciences collaborating hand-in-hand with theorical sciences. Trying to dissociate the two is absurd.

Nats said...

WHAT is this Lourdes miracle thing you talk about?

In 1858, a 14 year girl told her mother that an apparition of a lady spoke to her at the cave at Lourdes. The girl said she threw holy water at the lady to see if she was evil. The girl says the apparition said "I promise to make you happy, not in this world, but in the next." The girl convinced many people in the town that she had seen the Blessed Virgin Mary. The girl waded through the grotto and dug a hole at the other end. Muddy water came out that become clearer over time. The water was said to be magical.
The church made the girl a saint (Saint Bernadette Soubirous) and over time erected a huge building over the grotto.

Stan said...

The Lourdes miracle is well represented on the internet. Or you can believe the sarcastic representation given by Nats, above.

The point is, there is a physical result, one which is empirically available for any kind of examination.

Since no Atheist has disproven it, most Atheists devolve to ridicule of it. Ridicule is the refuge of the irrational, those who have no case to make, who can only attempt to defile something by urinating on it. (think Left wing comedians who hurl cunt and whore epithets, then charge the Right wing with a war on women).

Ignore that sort of behavior, and use the actual claims made originally regarding the repetitive "miracles" which occured at Lourdes. If you can't find them, I'll look them up again.

Stan said...

"WOW, that's very cynical and anti-science. Don't you realize that engineering can be reliable because of research, and in turn, research can progress because engineering gave them better tools? In other words, you have experimental/practical sciences collaborating hand-in-hand with theorical sciences. Trying to dissociate the two is absurd."

Au contraire. Engineers either do their own R&D - there are corporations full of these - or they use replicated science. Been there, done that. Corporate scientists are much more like engineers in terms of their apparent integrity. They are interested in producing knowledge, actual knowledge which works, not bullet points on their resume's.

Academic scientists are suspect due to their publish or perish environment and their reward system, including their funding issues.

The split is between arenas which are differently motivated and rewarded. The split is between scientists motivated by advancing knowledge vs scientists motivated by fear of not publishing.

The results are what they are. If they are uncomfortable, that cannot be helped.

Also, engineering is not reliable "because of research". It is reliable because it adheres to rigorous standards. It is obvious that the standards for success in the academic world are not the same as the world that engineers and associated scientists inhabit.

Here are the last paragraphs of the article:
"Ferric Fang of the University of Washington, speaking to the panel, said he blamed a hypercompetitive academic environment that fosters poor science and even fraud, as too many researchers compete for diminishing funding.

"The surest ticket to getting a grant or job is getting published in a high-profile journal," said Fang. "This is an unhealthy belief that can lead a scientist to engage in sensationalism and sometimes even dishonest behavior."

The academic reward system discourages efforts to ensure a finding was not a fluke. Nor is there an incentive to verify someone else's discovery. As recently as the late 1990s, most potential cancer-drug targets were backed by 100 to 200 publications. Now each may have fewer than half a dozen.

"If you can write it up and get it published you're not even thinking of reproducibility," said Ken Kaitin, director of the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. "You make an observation and move on. There is no incentive to find out it was wrong."


This is from big dogs involved in the issue. So you can complain to them too.

Stan said...

And another thing. The charge of being anti-science is disingenuous. Where science has scruples, as does engineering, science is properly admired. Where science becomes a racket, it is proper to chastise it.

Science has a firm niche in the field of knowledge generation. But when it squanders its own reputation due to malfeasance of its practitioners, it must be recognized, reprimanded and reported: not to do so is irresponsible. And in this case academia is culpable.

Jim said...

"The point is, there is a physical result, one which is empirically available for any kind of examination."

...but it happened in 1858? I am not sure what you mean by 'available for any kind of examination' then.

"Ignore that sort of behavior, and use the actual claims made originally regarding the repetitive "miracles" which occured at Lourdes. If you can't find them, I'll look them up again."

ACTUALLY, someone tried to 'play a game' with me on the other thread. Perhaps we can try another one here since I have never heard of Lourdes and you seem to know a lot about it, and you seem to care enough about it to use it as a strong example of atheist biased.

INSTEAD of going on the internet to find about this Lourdes miracle, why don't you, Stan, describe it in your own words (since you said Nat built a sarcastic version). Surely, this should be simple and straight forward since it's something you believe happened.

EXPLAIN what happened, why I should believe each of the claims, what are they based on, what were the evidence you talk about, etc...

THIS could be a good way to discover other assumptions that we hold, or not, and that make our entire worldview differ.

eternal said...

stan watch this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0WwZc-Vz7Y

per this video, I think you are at 2b: the argument for your agent god, that supposedly caused the universe to exist, never made it passed the first point...

Martin said...

eternal,

That video gives me an idea for my own video: my personal deconversion from naturalism/materialism. It's fascinating how many people there are just like TheraminTrees and QualiaSoup who don't seem to have examined their beliefs at all, and just believe them because they are comfortable.

Yongary said...

Don't debunk Lourdes if you live in India.

Sanal Edamaruku revealed how the Catholic Church's latest miracle worked and was charged with blasphemy.

http://boingboing.net/2012/04/13/indian-skeptic-charged-with.html

Stan said...

Jim said,
"INSTEAD of going on the internet to find about this Lourdes miracle, why don't you, Stan, describe it in your own words (since you said Nat built a sarcastic version). Surely, this should be simple and straight forward since it's something you believe happened"

1. This is a continuation of your persistent dodging taking any responsibility for anything. Google is spelled g o o g l e.

2. I said that you are challenged to debunk it using empirical techniques. I did not say that I believe it. What I believe is not the issue. The issue is that you, as an Atheist, cannot support your own belief system using your own techniques of knowledge generation.

3. You continue not to engage the original logic, except by using anti-QM skepticism as a dodge. Now you have begun avoiding it altogether.

This conversation has been a series of avoidance measures by you. You have not proven the logic presented to you to be wrong, and you use changing excuses to attack it. Now you won't even google up Lourdes.

This type of conversation is typical of Atheist responses. Rather than have a direct conversation on the merit of a proposition or concept, all sorts of excuses arise which are conjured out of imaginations in order to stop progress without actually having to confront the proposition or concept. Deviation rather than confrontation is the usual tactic.

Sometimes I allow the deviations to occur so that their fallacious character can be seen. But after a while it becomes obvious that the conversation has become a troll-joke, jerking the conversation back and forth, rather than engaging the issues.

At that point, I stop the conversation, even if it means going to monitored comments and deleting further entries.

This point has been reached in this silly exchange.

Either you make some move to disprove the logic originally given using reasonable counter logic and scientific knowledge, or this thread is over for you.

Stan said...

Yongary said,
"Sanal Edamaruku revealed how the Catholic Church's latest miracle worked and was charged with blasphemy."

India has blasphemy laws?! For Catholics?

All claims of miracles should be examined using empirical techniques. Those which demonstrably have physical causes should be declared as such. Those which cannot be shown empirically to have physical causes should be declared to be beyond the capabilities of empiricism to provide knowledge regarding their source.

That's the difference between science and Philosophical Materialism: science admits to having restricted abilities, and constraints on its reach into knowledge generation. Philosophical Materialism makes knowledge claims which go beyond those of science, claims which it cannot prove using science.

I hope that India has a science lobby that can defeat blasphemy ideologists.

Stan said...

eternal,
That was quite a good video. It demonstrates the emotional drive in a 13 to 14 year old. Children of that age are not intellectually prepared to examine their beliefs using logic and rational techniques. Children of that age don't even have the tools to understand the belief system which they espouse at any more than a superficial level. They should be taught the processes of logic and hypothesis examination using proper deductive intellectual tools, rather than challenged to think up their own stuff.

The video concludes in a feeling of relief, freedom, and science as knowledge. His claim of comprehending "underlying principles" is dubious, because it seems to mean only science as revealing all knowledge through physical underlying principles. In other words, science as the sole knowledge source for Materialism as the sole existence.

The emergent Atheist idea that he now has freedom, not just morally, but intellectually, gives him a personal power image. It's a heady thing for a juvenile. That is not easy to shed in favor of being subservient to rules for thinking accurate thoughts: that is not Free Thought which is more valuable to them. If one must be a slave to something, it must be to oneself, not to externals, or one loses the benefits of Atheism.

That's one reason that there is no Truth and no absolute in the Atheist world: if there were, those might dominate the Atheist, who would lose autonomy and freedom and power.

My own Atheism was similar in some ways to his. But I finally realized that the principles of accurate thought do not support the principles of Materialism and certainly not its use by Atheists (who are in fact dependent on it, and slaves to it). If there are principles for logic and accurate thought, then those must trump my opinions, and I have to humble myself to their domination. That, in itself, precludes Free Thought and Atheist dogma.

Atheists claim logic and rationality loudly and often; but in fact they are Free Thinkers, enamored of their own opinions however obtained. They are not tethered to any grounding principles: contingent science is revered, but Materialism is actually preeminent, and must be defended using whatever tactics are necessary. Since Materialism is irrational, the use of irrational and fallacious counter attacks to actual logic is seen as perfectly acceptable: deviations and dissembly substitute for reason but are called rational.

The video shows the progress of a child through emotional rejection stages, landing finally at the freedom stage, a stage which itself is not examined and likely won't be because of its emotional comforts of self-indulgent supremacy and freedom from constraint. I hope he decides to go further in his pursuit of what might be actually valid and true.

Stan said...

Hmpf. I should have said up front that the video made no mention of whether a deity could be thought to exist or not. No arguments were made against, only implied that the pre-14 child had rejected any/all arguments concerning such an existence. The video was not about rationality nor was it about valid reasons for rejection; no such reasons were given. The video illuminated the juvenile being emotionally lost in an intellectual void, and his emotional trauma as he progresses to self-endowed self-esteem in that pre-adolescent state. The adult now is halted at that stage. Hopefully the halt is temporary.

eternal said...

stan, it took you 40 years to realize that you were "wrong", according to your blog title. that's very long for someone who is now the king of logic and reason... why should anyone believe you is beyind me... perhaps that's why you converted only one follower, Martin, to your anti-atheism-religion!

Jim said...

STAN said:
"1. This is a continuation of your persistent dodging taking any responsibility for anything. Google is spelled g o o g l e."

2. I said that you are challenged to debunk it using empirical techniques. I did not say that I believe it. What I believe is not the issue. The issue is that you, as an Atheist, cannot support your own belief system using your own techniques of knowledge generation.
"

LOL, yes but I can search for it, but I thought it would be interesting not to, so that I can get from you the importance of that one event.

NOTE that I am not doing any persistent dodging nor am I not willing to take any responsibility for anything, I am simply not attempting to support any of my belief so I don't understand your attack... I am just telling you why I don't believe in gods... well actually, remember that I came here to ask you what I could learn about your god if I pretend to believe in that god for a minute? We never went back to that because you insist that I need to learn the reasons. I need to actually believe that this god exists first.

SO, if the Lourdes thing is just a distraction, please go back to the other thread and convince me that I should believe your argument for agent-causation of the universe. In other words, if you don't care about Lourdes, why should I go look it up and try to debunk it? Why is this event relevant? I am not dodging anything, I am just not interested in getting side track, I am actually following your advice of not dodging by not focusing on Lourdes!

ALSO, this is not the first time that you say that I 'cannot support [my] own belief system', but I never told you anything about what I believe and/or why... The only thing I told you I believe in are things for which we agreed; certain things like what we know from cosmology about the Big Bang for example. That's already much better than if I were talking with a Jehova's Witness who believe Earth was created a few centuries ago ;-)

"3. You continue not to engage the original logic, except by using anti-QM skepticism as a dodge. Now you have begun avoiding it altogether."

AGAIN, I am sorry if it looks like any kind of dodge. We are not even talking about QM or anything related to justifying that your god exists here in this thread... I insist that the core of the discussion is not here...

" At that point, I stop the conversation, even if it means going to monitored comments and deleting further entries.
This point has been reached in this silly exchange.
Either you make some move to disprove the logic originally given using reasonable counter logic and scientific knowledge, or this thread is over for you."

HOEPFULLY you will consider going back to the other thread then... Perhaps I should have avoided this one altogether. Sorry for the distraction!

Stan said...

Jim said,
”SO, if the Lourdes thing is just a distraction, please go back to the other thread and convince me that I should believe your argument for agent-causation of the universe. In other words, if you don't care about Lourdes, why should I go look it up and try to debunk it? Why is this event relevant? I am not dodging anything, I am just not interested in getting side track, I am actually following your advice of not dodging by not focusing on Lourdes!”

Is it that you actually don’t understand, or that you pretend not to understand? I have no need to convince you of anything. I presented an hypothesis-deduction chain to try to help you understand how I arrived where I am; you may debunk it using legitimate arguments if you wish, and at first I thought you had a legitimate misunderstanding which I tried to help with. But then came the other stuff, the arguing against the actual science, etc.

” ALSO, this is not the first time that you say that I 'cannot support [my] own belief system', but I never told you anything about what I believe and/or why...”

You said you were an Atheist. Or did I imagine that?

” AGAIN, I am sorry if it looks like any kind of dodge. We are not even talking about QM or anything related to justifying that your god exists here in this thread... I insist that the core of the discussion is not here...

That’s right, this is a continuation of that ongoing conversation. Perhaps this blog differs from other blogs in that aspect: a conversation thread can slop over onto more recent thread, and continue there at this blog.

” HOEPFULLY you will consider going back to the other thread then... Perhaps I should have avoided this one altogether. Sorry for the distraction!”

Good suggestion. But it is still not my intent to do any more than demonstrate my own path, and deal with reasonable issues along that path. If you reject it, that’s your prerogative, and I will critique any reasons you give for that, or if you do so without reasons. See you back there if you wish, and go ahead and state your remaining issues. (I suggest that you watch the video in the latest post, it demonstrates what I was trying to tell you, but better than I did).

And I suppose we could start with this: if the universe was physical inside the planck nugget, why don’t the laws of the physical universe apply? This is important here because if you can’t accept the non-physical aspect of the universe at that point, then there will be nothing further to talk about, because if you can’t accept a scientific view of non-physical existence, you would certainly have no reason to accept any further discussion of it.

Finally, as for Lourdes it is a prime example of giving Atheists exactly what they demand to have, yet they do not want to deal with it once they have it. Mostly they resort to juvenile ridicule instead of doing a proper empirical examination. I.e it is a demonstration of Atheist argumentation intransigence.

Stan said...

Eternal said,
stan, it took you 40 years to realize that you were "wrong", according to your blog title. that's very long for someone who is now the king of logic and reason... why should anyone believe you is beyind me... perhaps that's why you converted only one follower, Martin, to your anti-atheism-religion! “

Eternal, what I promote here is the study of the principles of logic and their application to rational thought, and then using those skills to assess one’s personal worldview and if necessary develop a new worldview which is logically coherent.

Like most Atheists, if not all of them, I didn’t do that during that 40 year period of my life. I was occupied with other aspects of life, and didn’t think about my Atheism at all, except occasionally when I wished to assure myself of my personal superiority to other lesser people. Many Atheists are engrossed with that aspect of Atheism: how incredibly intelligent and logical they are because they said those three words: “ain’t no God”, which placed them into the same category as the elitists of the world (everyone knows that elitism rubs off by association, right?). And it involves no messy logic either, which is good because virtually no Atheist understands that logic has principles, much less what those principles consist of.

But there is no analysis done beyond that for most Atheists; they enjoy their self-perception of elitism, and from that point they sally forth to demonstrate their superiority to the lesser beings of the world. And that’s where they stick, intellectually and emotionally truncated.

So your insults are feather weight; if you wish to have any impact here, then make actual logical cases against… whatever the topic du jour might be. Your other crap is without meaning.

Yongary said...

Sanal Edamaruku arrested? He showed how the miracle of the drinking Lord Ganesha was completely natural in 2006. What's interesting is that nothing changed. People still claimed it was a miracle.

Sanal Edamaruku proved the crying Virgin Mary glass just had red wax that melted at certain times. People still believed.

Sanal Edamaruku showing that the Jesus water is just a leaky drain and capillary action was last straw. That he is censored, silenced and arrested shows the trouble a skeptic must endure.

How is this related to Stan's Lourdes miracle?

I have been trying to check France's laws. In the 1771 the penalty for decrying or public denouncement of the Church's miracles was death. Later laws call for fines and imprisonment. Who knows how carried away a town can get when asking "What proof do we have that this 14-year old DID see the Virgin Mary?" could bring terrible penalties.

That Stan wants skeptics to debunk this little girls story (that he won't even say if he believes!) is a joke.
If Stan wants us to believe this girl's story then HE must provides reasons to believe.
People can tell tales forever. It is not rational to believe them all until they are debunked one by one.
I'm rational and can weigh evidence. Someone must provide evidence for this girl's story and we can examine it.

Stan said...

The evidence is as given: the physical evidence is a spring which she uncovered which allegedly didn't exist prior to her experience. The spring still exists.

Feel free to prove otherwise, empirically of course.

1771 was before the French Revolution; 1858 was after the French Revolutionary Atheists killed all the royals and priests that the Atheists could find. So posting a 1771 law is not pertinent to the issue.

Again, feel free to prove otherwise.

Prove empirically that the villagers were driven purely by fear of some law and not by conviction of their own observation.

Prove empirically that the girl did not have the experiences which she claimed to have had.

This exercise merely demonstrates that the negative claims of Atheism cannot be proved using the empirical source for knowledge which Atheists revere as the sole source for knowledge.

It also demonstrates that Atheism is based on empty claims, without evidence or logical support.

And it further demonstrates that the inability to support their claims with either empirical evidence or principled logic results in deprecation rather than logic:

"That Stan wants skeptics to debunk this little girls story (that he won't even say if he believes!) is a joke."

This is not logic; it is merely deprecation in the attempt to avoid responsibility for analyzing actual physical evidence. Atheists call for physical evidence then whine they get it.

Finally, it is not necessary for me to claim belief; the evidence is what it is and is available for Atheist examination and falsification using empirical methodology.

I suspect that empirical analysis and data won't be forthcoming, but that further deprecation will.

Yongary said...

"The evidence is as given: the physical evidence is a spring which she uncovered which allegedly didn't exist prior to her experience. The spring still exists."

Digging a hole in a grotto and having water come out is not a miracle. It's a grotto, for goodness sake. Use your head.

"Prove empirically that the girl did not have the experiences which she claimed to have had."

A girl claiming to have "experiences" is not a miracle. Claiming something happened is not a miracle. It's very easy to CLAIM something happened. If you could provide some evidence that it DID happen - that the Virgin Mary appeared to this girl - then you would have. If both of us don't think this girl's claim has merit, why bring it up?

If you want me to believe that the Virgin Mary appeared in Lourdes than you must provide a reason to believe. Things are not true until proven false. That is not rational.

I am either a robot or I am not a robot. You can not prove I am not a robot -- that does not mean it is logical to assume I AM a robot. To do so abandons reason.

Stan said...

Yes, of course. Rather than attack the events as they occurred, you attack the definition of the event, and put forth false analogies instead of data. You are unable to disprove the occurrences, aren't you? So you merely deny and denigrate them. That is not disproof, it is dissembly.

"If you could provide some evidence that it DID happen - that the Virgin Mary appeared to this girl - then you would have. If both of us don't think this girl's claim has merit, why bring it up?

You have no idea what I believe. Further, what I believe has no bearing on the truth value of the claim, just as what you believe has no bearing on the truth value of the claim: only empirical data has value in that regard, if the AtheoMaterialist world is in fact valid.

Here is what I know: you cannot prove, using empirical techniques, that it did not happen just the way the villagers said it happened. So you denigrate it rather than provide any actual physical evidence-based knowledge which is contrary to their claim. That is the exact methodology of radical skepticism, the ideology which never provides knowledge and always attempts to destroy existing knowledge.

"If you want me to believe that the Virgin Mary appeared in Lourdes than you must provide a reason to believe. Things are not true until proven false. That is not rational."

"Things are not true until proven false"?? Seriously? Perhaps you might wish to rephrase that.

Your challenge is to disprove the claim. Disprove the claim. You cannot do it, can you? Or else you would have done so. You have been given the claim and everyone has access to the physical evidence. You may go to Lourdes and stick your nose in the spring, if you wish. Demanding moreevidence is purely a demonstration that you cannot disprove the claim.

"I am either a robot or I am not a robot. You can not prove I am not a robot -- that does not mean it is logical to assume I AM a robot. To do so abandons reason."

False analogy. I have not claimed that there are no robots, that there could be no robots ever, I do not go out of my way declaring that the "non-existence of robots" is the only valid worldview, and that belief in robots is stupid/ignorant/irrational/immoral. In fact, I don't care if you are a robot. There are strong indications that you might well be a robot, and if so, so what? I never claimed otherwise.

Atheists, on the other hand, do make such claims of non-existence and worldview dependence, and then demand physical knowledge of a non-physical entity, but of course start to whine (see my prediction in the thread above) when it is provided to them as they wish. Now it seems that physical evidence accompanied by multiple eyewitness testimonies is not enough any longer: now there must be some additional, amorphous "reason" to believe. But that, of course, is not what was asked of you, was it? What you were asked for is an empirical, experimental, replicable, replicated, falsifiable but not falsified, set of irrefutable data which indicates that the event and/or claim is false.

You cannot provide any such evidence or set of data which proves your claim that it is false, can you? So why should anyone believe your claim? Without evidence or data your claim is empty, non-falsifiable, and totally without merit or credibility.

Jim said...

STAN:
"Things are not true until proven false"?? Seriously? Perhaps you might wish to rephrase that."

I think he meant... things are not 'true until proven false', and that's absolutely correct.

YET, that is what you are asking for Lourdes. You say:
"Here is what I know: you cannot prove, using empirical techniques, that it did not happen just the way the villagers said it happened. So you denigrate it rather than provide any actual physical evidence-based knowledge which is contrary to their claim. That is the exact methodology of radical skepticism, the ideology which never provides knowledge and always attempts to destroy existing knowledge."

OF course we cannot prove it did not happen the way they said, we cannot prove it false, but that does not mean we should conclude that it's 'true'.

THAT is exactly what Yongary said.

THERE are tons of stories like this one, always related to the pre-conceived beliefs that these people have... why should we investigate that one?

Jim said...

FORGOT something, when you said:
"Here is what I know: ...

...radical skepticism, the ideology which never provides knowledge and always attempts to destroy existing knowledge"

BUT you have not shown what you know. You said: go look on Google you lazy boy! We don't know what you know about this event. We don't know why you believe that one story over others. We don't know why it's special to you. We know nothing about it. You just ask to research this one instance of miracle claim as if it had something special, yet you refuse to say what's special about it.

AGAIN, this goes to what I wrote on the other thread; Stan, you refuse to support your positive beliefs. You prefer to assume they are correct and attack people who say 'I don't believe that no, why should I?'.

yonose said...

Yongary,

"
Sanal Edamaruku proved the crying Virgin Mary glass just had red wax that melted at certain times. People still believed."


This answer is interesting indeed, but this justification does not make the cut (not enough). Why would you think that just by describing some melting "red wax" that "melted a certain times" is good enough to disprove the whole phenomena?

If this kind of phenomena would be described by entirely empirical methodologies, then there's more stuff to do:

1)Chemical composition of that red wax

2)Which physical factors made that "red wax" to melt: e. g. temperature; season of the year, time of the day, which might/may have influence within the air's and ambiental temperature; etc.

3)Are there any observable factors which may not be statistically explainable by physical attributes?

I would wholeheartedly expect an experimental research where such possibly existent phenomena should be analyzed honestly.

Also, that if the hypothesis is that there are certain conditions that might not by be explained by empiricism regarding the physical: whether is it possible to confirm something which trascends the physical constraints of the phenomena of what is actually claimed or not, without data manipulation or hampering the research by providing an ideological only thesis to disprove the hypothesis, or better yet, hampering the initial objectives of the research, hampering the focus and experimental conditions, and manipulating the data altogether.

"Sanal Edamaruku showing that the Jesus water is just a leaky drain and capillary action was last straw. That he is censored, silenced and arrested shows the trouble a skeptic must endure."

I also disagree with the "politically correct", forced and not well justified censorship of people with an skeptical view, but I also disagree with the skeptics, because it would be appreciated than when any of them would want to disprove miracles, most of them should first try to understand what the concept of a miracle entails, I think that if most of them would like to debunk something, would they do it in a not so closed-minded, conlusion a-priori driven fashion.

A miracle entails, that a possible non-material agent is involved in the process of itself, not in the whole, literal context alone, but also how some symbolic process might have had some important effects in other people's physical complexion and/or physiology, without resorting to the simplistic answer of placebo or nocebo effects.

Even if there are some observable events that may be explained naturally, I think you should look at the other side of the evidence which still might not contingently explainable by empirical methodologies regarding the material only(like reported cases from people misteriously healing by drinking the water from Lourdes).

I'm gonna be honest: this is a very difficult task for many self-avowed and high profile self-proclaimed skeptics because of the ideology they are standing on to "debunk" phenomena.

IF anyone is interested

look at this piece of text

to understand a little bit more about the topic in hand.

I'm not asking anyone to change their worldview, just to analyze the text and draw honest conclusions.

Kind Regards.

eternal said...

stan said:
"if you wish to have any impact here, then make actual logical cases against… whatever the topic du jour might be."

i want to have an impact!!!!!

ok, so there is this idea that the physical universe was a non-physical universe before being a physical universe. this violated the law of identity because universe implies being physical so it cannot be both physical and non physical at the same time.

if universe can be non-physical and then switch to physical, then universe is more than just what we observe as space/time/matter/energy and it is the cause of the physical sub-set we live in.

is that god? god is the universe's part that not physical?

Stan said...

Jim says,
” I think he meant... things are not 'true until proven false', and that's absolutely correct.”

Yes that is better. And things also are not “false”, until they are proven false. And that, of course, is the challenge.

” OF course we cannot prove it did not happen the way they said, we cannot prove it false, but that does not mean we should conclude that it's 'true'.’

You were not asked to prove that it is true. You were challenged to prove it false. That is because of the standard Atheist demand for physical evidence for a non-physical entity. When given the evidence, they cannot disprove it for precisely the same reasons that theists cannot provide physical “proof” when their claim (usually) is for a non-physical entity.

” THERE are tons of stories like this one, always related to the pre-conceived beliefs that these people have... why should we investigate that one?”

Of course you won’t investigate it; you cannot possibly succeed, so you once again dance the buck and wing instead. You won’t do any analysis. You probably won’t even read very much about it. You will focus on somehow getting around the issue that you don’t have any falsifying evidence or even remote chance of falsifying evidence and that empiricism is an abject failure in this arena. You will claim that it is an invalid question, or that some other subject needs our attention, or that for reasons you can’t articulate the subject has no value to Atheism. It’s always the same. Robots? Yes I think so. Here’s the bottom line: There.is.no.evidence.for. Atheism.

This exercise is useful to decorate the difference in the Atheist attitude when their fallacy is applied back on them (at their demand, no less). The demands which the Atheists constantly make on theists immediately become onerous when they are applied to the Atheists.

” BUT you have not shown what you know. You said: go look on Google you lazy boy! We don't know what you know about this event. We don't know why you believe that one story over others. We don't know why it's special to you. We know nothing about it. You just ask to research this one instance of miracle claim as if it had something special, yet you refuse to say what's special about it.”

1. Miracle is claimed.
2. Refute Miracle, using empiricism.

It’s First Grade level in its simplicity. You can’t dodge it can you? Now you attempt to avoid it by demanding my personal version of it, which is quite obviously of no importance to the original claim. No importance whatsoever: a most obvious and pitiful dodge.

” AGAIN, this goes to what I wrote on the other thread; Stan, you refuse to support your positive beliefs. You prefer to assume they are correct and attack people who say 'I don't believe that no, why should I?'.”

The issue AGAIN is the belief system and worldview of Atheism and Atheists. You have no need to know whether I actually have any beliefs in order to support your own beliefs, which once AGAIN: for which you do not have evidence and for which you cannot provide evidence. As for your “why should I” complaint, that is an intellectual subterfuge (aka dodge) for avoiding providing evidence (which you do not have) to support your rejectionism (rejection without evidence).

The primary issue, for those who might have missed it, is the Category Error, and the secondary issue is Special Pleading Fallacy.

Thanks for playing.

Oh yes: you still have provided no evidence to support your position of Atheism nor have you refuted the miracle.

Stan said...

Yonose,
I'm not even going so far as to ask for an analysis of the subsequent healing claims at Lourde's, only the original claims that were made; that simplifies the issues sufficiently that the Atheists need not get bogged down in health statistics and such.

It is not possible to refute the original claims for the exact reason that claims of non-pyhsical existence cannot be proven physically.

The exercise is meant to demonstrate the logical errors being used by Atheists in their rejectionist demands and attitudes.

Occasionally I ask an Atheist what his Evidentiary Theory is; this results in confusion, because Atheists are Philosophical Materialists by default, regardless of any claim to the contrary. So trying to demonstrate the crux of the Materialist fallacy - the Category Error - is rarely understood or even more rarely acknowledged by the Atheist.

yonose said...

Stan,

It's OK. I got carried along myself too much on this one. :P

I agree that's part of the exercise. I'll try to be more patient when these kinds of issues in particular arise.

Kind Regards.

Stan said...

eternal said...
"stan said:
"if you wish to have any impact here, then make actual logical cases against… whatever the topic du jour might be."

i want to have an impact!!!!!"


Oh my!!!!! Please do!!!!! Please do have a go at it!!!!!

”ok, so there is this idea that the physical universe was a non-physical universe before being a physical universe. this violated the law of identity because universe implies being physical so it cannot be both physical and non physical at the same time.”

That is not the posit. The proposition is that the universe contains both physical and non-physical aspects (an accepted tenet of Quantum Mechanics), and that before the inflation, during the period when the universe was in the planck size nugget (10^-33cm), that the mass/energy did not exist in its subsequent form which we call physical.

”if universe can be non-physical and then switch to physical, then universe is more than just what we observe as space/time/matter/energy and it is the cause of the physical sub-set we live in.”

Let’s parse this:

(a) ” …universe is more than just what we observe as space/time/matter/energy…”

This is what science currently proposes.

(b) ” …and it is the cause of the physical sub-set we live in.”

I’m not sure how you mean this. The current understanding of the creation of matter in Quantum Mechanics is that non-material “probability waves” entropically reduce (decohere) into particles. This might relate to the original creation of matter by the Big Bang, which was entropic.

”is that god? god is the universe's part that not physical?”

That is not the proposition. All that this first proposition was intended to demonstrate is that the universe was not always in its current mass/energy form, and that it is reasonable to assume that it is not possible to conceive of all the atoms in the current universe existing in their current material form in a nugget the size of 10^-33cm, and therefore that the universe at that time was non-physical rather than physical as we understand it. This is just one point in the logic chain.

TKK said...

I finally get it.

Natural events can be true or false.
Supernatural (that is "beyond natural") events go beyond "true" or "false".
Logic and reason (of the natural universe) apply only to things in the natural universe. All gods are "real" in the sense that gods are "beyond logic" which means "natural logic" can not be used to describe them. So Stan has a favorite god but the other gods are "real" (but lesser) and logic and reason can neither prove or disprove them.

If we believe in a god we make it "real" in the non-physical (The thoughts) so all gods are real (but logically indescribable).

Jim said...

STAN replied to eternal:

All that this first proposition was intended to demonstrate is that the universe was not always in its current mass/energy form, and that it is reasonable to assume that it is not possible to conceive of all the atoms in the current universe existing in their current material form in a nugget the size of 10^-33cm, and therefore that the universe at that time was non-physical rather than physical as we understand it. This is just one point in the logic chain.

- The universe was not always in its CURRENT mass/energy form.
- It is not possible to conceive of all the atoms in the CURRENT universe existing in their CURRENT material form in a nugget the size of 10^-33cm.
- And therefore that the universe AT THAT TIME time was (non-physical) rather than PHYSICAL AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.

WHAT does (non-physical) mean in that context? You seem to switch easily between a literal brute solid 'not physical' to a more loose non-physical-the-way-we-understand-it-now.

eternal said...

stan said:
"All that this first proposition was intended to demonstrate is that the universe was not always in its current mass/energy form, and that it is reasonable to assume that it is not possible to conceive of all the atoms in the current universe existing in their current material form in a nugget the size of 10^-33cm, and therefore that the universe at that time was non-physical rather than physical as we understand it. This is just one point in the logic chain"

- The universe was not always in its CURRENT mass/energy form.
- It is not possible to conceive of all the atoms in the CURRENT universe existing in their CURRENT material form in a nugget the size of 10^-33cm
- And therefore that the universe AT THAT TIME time was (non-physical) rather than PHYSICAL AS WE UNDERSTAND IT

what does (non-physical) mean in that context? you switch easily between a literal brute solid 'not physical' to a more loose non-physical-the-way-we-understand-it-now

BOOM!

Stan said...

”Natural events can be true or false.”

Actually for ontology it would be “exist or do not exist”.

”Supernatural (that is "beyond natural") events go beyond "true" or "false".

This seems to have no meaning due to mixing ontology with epistemology. An event is a change in physical things between t= t1 and t= t2. Either it exists or it does not (ontology). True / False applies to concepts (epistemology), not events.

So the word “supernatural” when applied to an event would refer to an existence outside or beyond natural (mass/energy, space/time) constraints.

”Logic and reason (of the natural universe) apply only to things in the natural universe.”

This is not supported by the preceding premises, which are not valid. This actually might be true, but not for the reasons provided above.

”All gods are "real" in the sense that gods are "beyond logic" which means "natural logic" can not be used to describe them.”

“Real” is being used here to make a claim for the existence of something which is outside of logic, as follows:

Premise:
A definition is created: the word “real” now means “something which logic cannot describe”.

This is not the standard definition of the word “real” and goes counter to the actual definition:

real n. anything that actually exists, or reality in general.

So the use of the term, below, goes directly counter to the actual generally accepted usage.

Primary claim:

IF [X = outside of logic], THEN [X = “real”].

Secondary claim:

IF [X = not describable using “natural logic”], THEN [X = “real”].

These both are unsupported by either prior logic or by any evidentiary theory of which I am familiar.

”So Stan has a favorite god but the other gods are "real" (but lesser) and logic and reason can neither prove or disprove them.”

That claim has not been made, nor has it been demonstrated valid here.

”If we believe in a god we make it "real" in the non-physical (The thoughts) so all gods are real (but logically indescribable).”

This conclusion is not derivable logically, because the prior logic used in its support failed. Also, the term “real” is redefined to go counter to the dictionary definition, rendering the statement incomprehensible in the standard lexicon it suggests.

Stan said...

"- The universe was not always in its CURRENT mass/energy form.
- It is not possible to conceive of all the atoms in the CURRENT universe existing in their CURRENT material form in a nugget the size of 10^-33cm.
- And therefore that the universe AT THAT TIME time was (non-physical) rather than PHYSICAL AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.

WHAT does (non-physical) mean in that context? You seem to switch easily between a literal brute solid 'not physical' to a more loose non-physical-the-way-we-understand-it-now."


This is absolutely indefinable in terms you will ever accept. I have repeatedly defined the term, and you have repeatedly claimed not to understand it. I have come across this tactic before, and it is a definite reason for stopping conversations where it is used.

You repeatedly show up here with no refutation, no logical reasoning other than disdain for definitions, and certainly no evidence in support of your obstructions.

You have stopped the conversation on logic successfully by your continued failure to accept actual science.

You would not even try to see what Lourdes was all about, much less try to refute it empirically.

You want to change the conversation to my beliefs in order to remove the pressure on your lack of support for your objections, which have no apparent reason other than obstructionism.

It is obvious that you have no intention of accepting any concept of rational acceptability, and your tactic weaponry is avoidance of all actual issues while creating non-issues to harp on.

As I have said before, you are just wasting my time.

Here is my answer: I'll not play your game. Game over.

Stan said...

Jim,
You will not be posting here any longer due to your intellectual intransigence. Your tactic is obstructionist and reduces the intellectual bandwidth here to virtually zero.

'bye.

eternal said...

but but why... i like what jim said. see, i even copy pasted the reply so that i could add my BOOM at the end. whyyyyyyyyyy

Stan said...

eternal,
Jim refused to address issues. That is probably what you liked about him. Now you are in a position to address the issues he refused to address. Care to do so?

BOOM right back atcha.

eternal said...

stan said:
"eternal,
Jim refused to address issues."

oh I see, I guess that’s why in the comment before this one, you wrote:
Jim will not be posting here any longer due to the fact that he decided not address issues.

wait wait, I think I can hear a voice correcting me...

right!! that's not what happened at all. what happened is that you refuse to answer the issues, and then ignore or even ban people!! because you know, it's such a privilege to be able to write on that blog, any fau pas and ur out...

but I digress... you also said:
" Now you are in a position to address the issues he refused to address. Care to do so?"

yesssssssssssssssss!!!!

you made a claim right before that:

"All that this first proposition was ...... "

its hard to follow the proposition since it's just 1 long sentence (the second one being just 'This is just one point in the logic chain'. so what we can read is...

-- the universe was not always in its current mass/energy form.... duh

-- it is reasonable to assume that it is not possible to conceive of... conceive of? so because the universe was not always physical, we are not able to conceive something. that is weird. but I think you meant that it's highly unlikely that... so we can go with that hopefully

-- (it is unlikely that) all the atoms in the current universe existing in their current material form in a nugget the size of 10^-33cm.... duhhhhh, but you used 'current', so it could still be material but a different kind. strangely we all know thats not what u mean so I don’t know what u write it like that... are u getting confused? do you want to talk about it?

-- and therefore that the universe at that time was XX rather than physical as we understand it..... duhhhhh, it was not physical as we undertstand it, fine, so what? well, it was something else, it was not physical AS WE UNDERSTAND IT, so you replaced XX with 'not physical'

-- so before the universe was physical, it was not physical, duhhhhh

eternal said...

oh no wait... my mistake again!! what you said is that the universe was non-physical. you are not using the negative anymore. you think its reasonable to assume it existed, but as something that is not made of space/time-matter/energy, but it existed, for sure, or at least it's reasonable to think so.

problem! how can you know that the universe existed at all before it was physical when for us there is no difference between nothing and that non-physical universe?

u use a trick! you'll say that we know that it existed, but was not physical, because the mechanics of the quantum worlds tells us that, before physically existing, things are described as non-physical prob waves, and stuff like that. conclusion, the universe existed before existing; it was non-physical and then physical.

so.... I am not really objecting to anything here; merely pointing that your starting point that you claim is 'just' one point in the logic chain is actually super vague. ur definitions go from the very strict, as in physical = space/time/matter/energy AND NOTHING ELSE U STUPID ATHEISTS to the super loose, as in something like

'physical particles that exist today, the way we see them, were not always like that, so they were most likely something else, and I am going to say that this something else is not physical because it's clearly too different from what they are now, we cannot describe them using regular physics, plus we cannot even really know how they behave so we use probability, in other words we have no freaking clue but let's make sure that this is not call physical. Conclusion, let's go back to the extreme: THE UNIVERSE CLEARLY WAS NON-PHYSICAL YOU STUPID ATHEISTS.

so.. to make sure u get me, note that I don’t really have a problem with saying that the universe started as a non-physical entity. my problem is that if I accept this I have to include that the universe could have started as literally nothing, since nothing is a non-physical thing that seems to create stuff when we look at the 10^-33cm dimension you mentioned...

ur call... can your argument start with 'nothing perhaps created the universe' or you already dismiss this?

Stan said...

eternal says,

”right!! that's not what happened at all. what happened is that you refuse to answer the issues, and then ignore or even ban people!! because you know, it's such a privilege to be able to write on that blog, any fau pas and ur out...

This blog has a purpose, one which you are headed away from. It definitely is a privilege to comment on this, or any, blog which is not your own. Jim was given many chances to deal with the issues I presented; he continually dissembled. That’s not a faux pas, it is obstructionism. So now we get to see how you will deal with it. Will you make intelligent contributions? Or will you assert Radical Skepticism?

” -- (it is unlikely that) all the atoms in the current universe existing in their current material form in a nugget the size of 10^-33cm.... duhhhhh, but you used 'current', so it could still be material but a different kind.”

Material = mass/energy. If you redefine “material” to include non-mass/energy, then you are playing word games.

” strangely we all know thats not what u mean so I don’t know what u write it like that... are u getting confused? do you want to talk about it?”

No, that is exactly what I mean: the mass of the current universe could not exist in the planck nugget. It’s too bad that you don’t understand that, but there’s not much that I can do about that. Continual “not understanding” coupled with stupid insults is not a contribution to the blog.

” -- and therefore that the universe at that time was XX rather than physical as we understand it..... duhhhhh, it was not physical as we undertstand it, fine, so what? well, it was something else, it was not physical AS WE UNDERSTAND IT, so you replaced XX with 'not physical'

-- so before the universe was physical, it was not physical, duhhhhh”


And with a duhhhh, you have progresses one step beyond your predecessor, who refused to accept that conclusion.

” oh no wait... my mistake again!! what you said is that the universe was non-physical. you are not using the negative anymore. you think its reasonable to assume it existed, but as something that is not made of space/time-matter/energy, but it existed, for sure, or at least it's reasonable to think so.

problem! how can you know that the universe existed at all before it was physical when for us there is no difference between nothing and that non-physical universe?”


That is a Quantum Mechanics error. I think that my actual problem here is trying to use principles of science with Scientismists who are completely ignorant of science. I’ll give it one last – LAST – try.

According the Copenhagen Quantum Theory mass preexists as something which is non-mass; in other words before mass exists as material, it exists as non-material. That in no way agrees with your skeptical attempt to declare that it does not exist if it is not mass.

” u use a trick! you'll say that we know that it existed, but was not physical, because the mechanics of the quantum worlds tells us that, before physically existing, things are described as non-physical prob waves, and stuff like that. conclusion, the universe existed before existing; it was non-physical and then physical.”

So QM is a trick. That is your position?

”so.... I am not really objecting to anything here; merely pointing that your starting point that you claim is 'just' one point in the logic chain is actually super vague. “

You came in late. The entire logic chain is given in a previous thread where all this started. You need to go back, read, and get caught up.

”ur definitions go from the very strict, as in physical = space/time/matter/energy AND NOTHING ELSE U STUPID ATHEISTS to the super loose, as in something like

(continued below)

Stan said...

(continued from above)
"'physical particles that exist today, the way we see them, were not always like that, so they were most likely something else, and I am going to say that this something else is not physical because it's clearly too different from what they are now, we cannot describe them using regular physics, plus we cannot even really know how they behave so we use probability, in other words we have no freaking clue but let's make sure that this is not call physical. Conclusion, let's go back to the extreme: THE UNIVERSE CLEARLY WAS NON-PHYSICAL YOU STUPID ATHEISTS.”

First, I have repeatedly defined “physical”; Second, nothing you say above says anything different from that.

And obviously you choose to complain about definitions rather than the obvious: atoms and molecules and particles as we understand it did not exist in the planck nugget as the atoms and molecules and particles which exist today. They obviously would not fit. You prefer to argue words rather than concepts. Concepts require words when being transmitted between individuals, so obstructionism which cannot defeat the concept chooses to attack the words. That’s just the cheap way to assert radical skepticism in order to shut things down when they are uncomfortable to the radical skeptic’s worldview. Rather than be open to logic, shut down the conversation. That was your predecessor’s tactic; are you following in his footsteps?

Btw, feel free to insert as many “duhhhh’s” and shouting and false accusations into your conversation as possible; it indicates your intellectual and maturity level.

” so.. to make sure u get me, note that I don’t really have a problem with saying that the universe started as a non-physical entity. my problem is that if I accept this I have to include that the universe could have started as literally nothing, since nothing is a non-physical thing that seems to create stuff when we look at the 10^-33cm dimension you mentioned...”

First, if that is the case, that you "don't have a problem with...", then why then did you go out of your way to type up all that stuff above? Just a vehicle for insults?

Second, yes; you must accept that false conclusion IFF you accept Philosophical Materialism’s erroneous basis.

Third, nothing is not ever seen to create stuff. More on this below.

” ur call... can your argument start with 'nothing perhaps created the universe' or you already dismiss this?”

To my knowledge, the argument of "nothing creates something" is an erroneous understanding of matter/anti-matter being created by noise in the Quantum Field that permeates space: Space is not “nothing”; it is completely filled with the Quantum field. There is no way in which an observation of “nothing creating something” could ever have been observed, since within observable universal horizons, "nothing" does not exist. There is no “nothing” available for inspection.

The term, “planck sized nugget” is a description of a specific entity, not “nothing”. But that entity can’t contain all the mass which is known to exist in our universe. It contans some sort of pre-mass existence. It does not contain "nothing".

The Quantum Field is an existence prior to mass, an existence which is not mass: i.e. not physical, and also not “nothing”.

Chris said...

Just another monist Monday....
Wish it were Sunday....

Jeremy said...

Stan could you elaborate how your interpretation of QM approximates some sort of argument for a personal deity?

All I can gather is that the non-physical nature of somehow correlates?

Which rather sounds like a fallacy of equivocation. I do not think theoretical theorists use the term non-physical in the same manner which you do. But even accepting that you might be using it in the correct sense, I am at a complete loss as to how this argues for theism. Deism at a very generous stretch perhaps.

As an aside, have you read "New Proofs for the Existence of God, Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy". ~Robert Spitzer

Of course I did not find it's arguments convincing, as my conclusion has been predetermined by my Philosophical Materialism and Radical Skepticism (hahah). But you seem to touch on many of the arguments Spitzer uses. If that is the case I would have a better idea of where you are coming from, and you could probably save yourself a great deal of explanation.

Also, your link doesn't work.

Stan said...

try this link

Stan said...

Since more than one person has expressed interest in this, I'll try to retrieve and condense the original argument into a single, new post.

Tomorrow.

Maybe.

Stan said...

Jeremy,
You are right regarding the argument being for Deism; Theism is a personal relationship type of deity and is not amenable to logical resolution nor is it subject to empirical investigation.

I probably should not discuss even Deism here, since this is not a forum for anything other than Atheist propositions and their truth value. I had thought that the previous person actually wanted to know something about it and I got sucked into it, and to my regret I found otherwise.

However, having done it, I will allow its discussion, at least for a while, until the objections start being made out of obstreperous obstructionism rather than providing actual logic or evidence in defense of the objection. If or when that occurs, all rational content is lost.

Anonymous said...

the pic and caption she wrote is so true--but not for the reason she believes. its 'true' because as an atheist I worshiped my own intelligence (member of mensa etc) and felt superior to 'lesser people' especially religious people. I also felt that (naturally) the more intelligent were more humane than ignorant religious people.

But when I went to africa, the land of my forefathers, I saw that the religious, especially christian, groups were the ONLY ones feeding the poor and digging wells for fresh water.

Ain't no such thing as 'atheists for africa'!

So if atheists like me were so awesome how come we ignored the suffering of the poor and the weak? And those stupid religious people did not ignore them?

Then I realized --we the atheists were full of sh*t.

David said...

A Tu Quoque is not an answer, it is a fallacy of evasion.

And you don't understand theism. Judeo-Christianity doesn't eliminate any of those gods: "...have no other gods before me". It merely posits one that is supreme. If one is supreme, then the others are irrelevant.

Disbelief, in the understanding of Atheists, is rejection; but it is not necessary to reject those things which are irrelevant.

The Atheist "one less god" bumper-sticker is merely a lack of understanding on the part of Atheists.

The "game" is not as simplistic as you perceive it to be.


No. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheistic religions. Nice try. The type of theism you illustrate with that Bible citation is inconsistent with monotheistic tradition.

It still stands that you reject other deities in favor of a supreme being, so the claim to disbelief in one god fewer is relevant.

Rendering a concept irrelevant is to reject it from holding a place within a given narrative or discourse. Therefore, to render lesser Gods irrelevant to the existence of a supreme deity is to implicitly reject them.

Stan said...

I am exercising my previously stated position of eliminating comments which are made from behind the skirts of "anonymous".

If you wish to re-comment, use an actual identifier.

Stan said...

David says,

”No. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheistic religions. Nice try. The type of theism you illustrate with that Bible citation is inconsistent with monotheistic tradition.”

So you claim that the Bible contradicts your concept of “monotheistic tradition”, whatever that is? Your definition goes counter to how the Bible considers its deity for both judaism and Christianity? And your counter definition is justified how?

"Rendering a concept irrelevant is to reject it from holding a place within a given narrative or discourse. Therefore, to render lesser Gods irrelevant to the existence of a supreme deity is to implicitly reject them."

No, irrelevant issues are ignored, not rejected or denied as having relevance in the proper context. The proper context would be “subordinate” non-physical beings which are not the creating deity. If you wish to discuss within that context, fine; but you are arguing outside of the proper context, which is yet another Category Error.

David said...

So you claim that the Bible contradicts your concept of “monotheistic tradition”, whatever that is? Your definition goes counter to how the Bible considers its deity for both judaism and Christianity? And your counter definition is justified how?

There's no need to expand on my usage of the term 'monotheism'. Its precise meaning in this context is confined to its general usage.

Further, I didn't claim that the Bible contradicts monotheism. Your citation is inconsistent with the popular understanding that Christianity is monotheistic, meaning you worship *one* supreme being. Consider the concept of the Trinity in Christianity. There are *three* hailed entities (the Holy Spirit, God and Jesus) yet you would agree Christianity is monotheistic, no?

No, irrelevant issues are ignored, not rejected or denied as having relevance in the proper context. The proper context would be “subordinate” non-physical beings which are not the creating deity. If you wish to discuss within that context, fine; but you are arguing outside of the proper context, which is yet another Category Error.

"Ignore" has two meanings. One is the *intentional refusal* to acknowledge the relevance or existence of a thing, which is consistent with my line of reasoning. In this case, you intentionally reject lesser Gods in favor of a supreme one.

The second meaning of 'ignore' is to "fail to consider something significant". For example, satellite broadcasting *ignores* national boundaries. It's not necessary for the subject to be *relevant* to be *significant*, but it fits the definition nonetheless.

To illustrate, it would not make sense to say that mathematics *ignores* the study of cats, for whatever reason. The concept of cats is not relevant to understanding mathematics, so it cannot be ignored.

To ignore something, in our general understanding, implies that the ignored subject in question has relevance, or at the least, significance of some sort to take notice of its exclusion within a given context.

Another example illustrating this would be how some Americans *ignore* the Soviet Union's contributions to the Allied victory in the Second World War.

On the contrary, to cite a Bible verse, and subsequently interpret it in a manner that *acknowledges* the possibility of lesser Gods, makes them relevant to the conversation. It is only up to the point where you *reject them* from the conversation to demonstrate a point (i.e. God's superiority) are they rendered no longer relevant in the first sense.

There has been no category error committed, considering the above.

Stan said...

You claim that “ignore” has just two meanings, it has more, but since you want to argue definitions rather than substance, let’s have one more go at it. Your first definition is this:

”"Ignore" has two meanings. One is the *intentional refusal* to acknowledge the relevance or existence of a thing, which is consistent with my line of reasoning. In this case, you intentionally reject lesser Gods in favor of a supreme one.”

I have highlighted the “relevant” term in your definition, the one which actually applies, rather than the one you jumped on in your attempt to derail the discussion. Your complaint is not relevant (for logical, mathematical and empirical reasons) and therefore is intentionally refused to be worthy of consideration.

So your definitional complaint is absolutely false, by your own definition. Read it again. The statement rejects the relevance of lesser gods. That fits your definition, exactly. So whatever your non-argument is, it starts with an incorrect assumption, and an incorrect interpretation of your own definition, which is a poor start when launching a definitional war.

Even from a mathematical viewpoint when discussing the characteristics of the superset, the characteristics of the subsets are irrelevant; only when discussing the specifics of the subset is it necessary to qualify it as fitting into the superset, and then it is not the superset, it remains the subset.

From an empirical scientific standpoint falsifying a subset does not falsify the superset, it merely means that the subset is not a valid component of the superset.

From a logic standpoint, a sub-component which neither proves nor falsifies an hypothesis is not relevant to the hypothesis.

"There's no need to expand on my usage of the term 'monotheism'. Its precise meaning in this context is confined to its general usage."

So you'll quibble some definitions and sit tight and not discuss your own mystery definitions? Special Pleading Fallacy.

You even contradict your own position by complaining that certain major religions are monotheist, but have three deities, confusing your insistence that monotheism must have your single god definition.

"On the contrary, to cite a Bible verse, and subsequently interpret it in a manner that *acknowledges* the possibility of lesser Gods, makes them relevant to the conversation."

False. The verse itself makes it clear that any such creatures are insignificant and trivial. So you are trying to make the trivial into an issue, most likely following the standard Atheist program of not addressing his own fallacious worldview or providing any defense for it you will stick with trivialities instead.

How about getting on to an actual argument which demonstrates that the Atheist contrary position is valid, and is supported by disciplined logic and/or material empirical evidence?

Or would you prefer to argue the definitions of the words in that sentence, rather than actually make the argument in defense of your worldview?

Let's prime the pump: Atheism is a false religion, one which is based on blind belief in propositions which it cannot demonstrate or prove with either disciplined logic or material empirical evidence.

Let's discuss that, unless you want to merely claim mystery usage for terms you don't like, in which case there is no point in continuing any discussion with you. Just so you know.

David said...

First off, I'm not complaining. I'm trying to have a civil debate with you. I don't think I've offended you. Have I? Please tell me if so.

Second, atheism is not a world view. Neither is Christianity. Atheism is simply a position on a spectrum which states (for positive atheism): "Gods do not exist." For negative atheism, "No evidence that God's do" exist". It ranges from weak atheism to strong atheism. It lacks an underlying dogma like Christianity, so it's not a religion either.

You might say "Skepticism is a dogma! Atheism is skeptical! Therefore atheism's a religion, for some reason!" but that's just poor reasoning. You can be atheist and still believe in supernatural things, like demons. You just don't believe a God is likely to exist, that's all.

Moving on:

The statement rejects the relevance of lesser gods.

Let's grant your statement. How would your Bible citation apply to the Holy Trinity? Which of the three are relevant? If they are equally relevant, is Christianity still monotheistic? Or do you believe the three constitute a whole being, for some reason?

So you'll quibble some definitions and sit tight and not discuss your own mystery definitions? Special Pleading Fallacy.

You even contradict your own position by complaining that certain major religions are monotheist, but have three deities, confusing your insistence that monotheism must have your single god definition.


No, I was quite clear what I meant by monotheism. But for your ease. Wikipedia defines it as: "The belief in the existence of one god or in the oneness of God."

According to the article, Christianity can be seen as a weak form of monotheism (Christian trinitarianism). In this case, lesser entities (such as Jesus and the Holy Spirit) are acknowledged, but not as relevant as the Supreme Being, God.

After some thought, I'll concede that your citation was actually legitimate, in line with Judaism's and Islam's criticism of Christianity's claim to being a strict monotheistic religion, due to its trinitarianism.

Hooray! You've managed to convince me on that point.

Moving on.

How about getting on to an actual argument which demonstrates that the Atheist contrary position is valid, and is supported by disciplined logic and/or material empirical evidence?

You'll pull something out of the air like "Your presuppositions bias you to this particular "materialistic" conclusion". Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to assert in your blog postings that are all atheists are necessarily materialists.

This notion's directly contradicted by the fact that atheists can believe in non-material beings, such as spirits and demons. I'm open to the possibility of those existing, as for God. But until sufficient evidence can be provided, I'm inclined to say that He's probably non-existent.

You cannot demonstrate God's existence on scientific terms, but you can rationally demonstrate his possible existence (of course, the limit to which these can be proven relies on the argument's axioms).

I acknowledge in the possibility of extraterrestrial UFOs existing and having visited our planet, as well. But the difference between that and God is that there's a wealth more of physical evidence to assert their being. Where of God? I think science has an easier time demonstrating the existence of ET UFOs then God.

Until then, I stick with Hitchen's maxim: That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Our criteria for 'evidence' is obviously different, but I think our skepticism is justified.

Just so you know, I hope there are no hard feelings between us. I enjoyed this debate.

Stan said...

”First off, I'm not complaining. I'm trying to have a civil debate with you. I don't think I've offended you. Have I? Please tell me if so.

I’m not offended; I’m leery of tactics outside of rational debate, though. I’ll be interested in the rest of your statement.

”Second, atheism is not a world view. Neither is Christianity. Atheism is simply a position on a spectrum which states (for positive atheism): "Gods do not exist." For negative atheism, "No evidence that God's do" exist". It ranges from weak atheism to strong atheism. It lacks an underlying dogma like Christianity, so it's not a religion either. “

You are apparently not following the current conversation, where an avowed Atheist denies your definitions of Atheism, above; however, I accept them. Definitions are essential for rational conversation, and Atheists are notorious for their sliding definitions.

Atheism and Christianity both are foundations for worldviews. Both give the owner a viewpoint of epistemology, ontology, and ethics/morality, not to mention moral authority and personal responsibility for ideas and actions. These foundations are the base for worldviews; if the foundation changes, the worldview shifts accordingly.

”You might say "Skepticism is a dogma! Atheism is skeptical! Therefore atheism's a religion, for some reason!" but that's just poor reasoning. You can be atheist and still believe in supernatural things, like demons. You just don't believe a God is likely to exist, that's all.”

Atheism is a statement concerning the existence of a creating deity; so it is a religious stance, and cannot be interpreted as anything but a religious stance. Moreover, since it cannot prove the validity of its own stance using either logic or empirical experimental data, it is a stance made in an intellectual vacuum, which falsifies the Atheist claim that it is logic and evidence based. Therefore it is blind belief, a religious stance. The Argument that Atheism is a religion is here

”The statement rejects the relevance of lesser gods.

Let's grant your statement. How would your Bible citation apply to the Holy Trinity? Which of the three are relevant? If they are equally relevant, is Christianity still monotheistic? Or do you believe the three constitute a whole being, for some reason? “


What I think of the trinity is irrelevant; your position was that “It still stands that you reject other deities in favor of a supreme being, so the claim to disbelief in one god fewer is relevant.”

You seem to wish to quibble about how many gods there are, rather than to argue your Atheism. It is your Atheism and its proof by either logic or empirical experimental data that is on the line. This blog is about Atheism. Now if you want to show that belief in a creating agent is ignorable due to its irrelevance, then go ahead and make your case. That’s what your claim amounts to, when the word hash is removed. Trying to “prove” the one-less-god trope is not going to prove anything regarding the actual existence or non-existence of a creating agent.
(continued)

Stan said...

”After some thought, I'll concede that your citation was actually legitimate, in line with Judaism's and Islam's criticism of Christianity's claim to being a strict monotheistic religion, due to its trinitarianism.

Hooray! You've managed to convince me on that point.”


OK.

”How about getting on to an actual argument which demonstrates that the Atheist contrary position is valid, and is supported by disciplined logic and/or material empirical evidence?”

You'll pull something out of the air like "Your presuppositions bias you to this particular "materialistic" conclusion". Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to assert in your blog postings that are all atheists are necessarily materialists.”


The connection to materialism is very strong but not necessarily the case; however, I have yet to come across one here who was not, at bottom, a materialist. We’ll see how you fare.

”This notion's directly contradicted by the fact that atheists can believe in non-material beings, such as spirits and demons. I'm open to the possibility of those existing, as for God. But until sufficient evidence can be provided, I'm inclined to say that He's probably non-existent. “

And here is where it comes in: what sort of evidence do you require? What is your theory of evidence?

”You cannot demonstrate God's existence on scientific terms, but you can rationally demonstrate his possible existence (of course, the limit to which these can be proven relies on the argument's axioms).”

OK.

”I acknowledge in the possibility of extraterrestrial UFOs existing and having visited our planet, as well. But the difference between that and God is that there's a wealth more of physical evidence to assert their being. Where of God? I think science has an easier time demonstrating the existence of ET UFOs then God. “

Then you need scientific, experimental evidence. That, of course, is Materialism.

”Until then, I stick with Hitchen's maxim: That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Our criteria for 'evidence' is obviously different, but I think our skepticism is justified.”

Hitch’s maxim is a demonstration of logical incompetence: the maxim itself is an assertion which cannot be shown to be valid by using any material empirical technique; it is not falsifiable; it is a statement of a decreed universal truth without hope of proof. In other words, it is an assertion without evidence, and can be dismissed under its own declaration. So it is self-defeating, paradoxical, and non-coherent.

Your criterion for evidence does place you as a materialist, because you need material evidence in order to make important decisions. And valid skepticism has only one justification, and that is as a preparation for the journey to actually ascertain the most valid path to what is. But valid skepticism is put away when an honest intellectual evaluation produces knowledge, regardless of whether the knowledge is convenient to a dogma or not. Intellectual evaluation might be prompted by skepticism, but it is not, itself, skepticism.

Materialism fails its own criteria and Materialist skepticism is usually used as a barrier to knowledge. Skepticism never, ever, produces knowledge; it is a defense against knowledge which is inconvenient and must be destroyed in order to protect a dogma. Its intent is to disprove, if only by asserting ever-increasing skepticism until Radical Skepticism dominates, and nothing whatsoever can be known (Pyrhonnianism and solipsism). Skepticism merely takes pot shots at knowledge without entering into the search, so it is intellectually illegitimate.


”Just so you know, I hope there are no hard feelings between us. I enjoyed this debate. “

Well then, stick around and fire back. I’m not going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

There is a purple unicorn sitting on my desk. If you don't believe me, you have to prove it's not there. If you can't, then you ought to convert to purpleunicornism.

sheesh.

Stan said...

So you admit that you can't prove the basis for your worldviews. Good. The purple unicorn analogy is kid stuff though. Try harder, using actual material evidence and/or actual disciplined logic. It'll look better for you, but it won't work for you either.