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AeonGrey

Proof / disproof

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I was reading some atheist blog earlier today and as always, the discussion in the comments section, once a a religious person interjected, turned into the same usual debate about whether or not there's god, etc.

One thing that I keep seeing come up again and again and again is this idea that atheists have faith TOO, just...faith that there isn't a god.  Seems simple enough, but it really frustrates me.  I wanted to see what other people thought before I interject my FULL opinion here...do people who don't believe in god have to defend themselves by somehow providing proof that god doesn't exist?

As I'm sure you've guessed from my non-capitalized 'god's, I'm not religious.

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That can be very frustrating to argue against, simply because the person doesn't understand the basics of argument. You could always point out the Invisible Pink Unicorn or the Flying Spaghetti Monster possibilities and force the person to prove their faith that they do not exist. Maybe then they'll understand the merits of having a burden of proof and enforcing that burden in an intellectual discussion.

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Depends on definition, as per usual.

If one simply doubts god then one has no obligation to provide an alternative.

If one is committed to the belief that god does not exist then that could, for a given definition of the word, be described as 'faith' of a sort.

Personally I think that since theists themselves generally do not provide any evidence for the existence of god, atheists should not be under any similar obligation.

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Yeah...I thin I pretty much feel about it like you guys do.  I'm an atheist personally, but it isn't some phase or rebellious thing...I'm an adult.  I was raised Christian and it didn't traumatize me or anything...I simply grew up to reject the religious claims that were presented to me during my upbringing...just couldn't, as a person who cares about being honest with himself, accept the claims...I saw and still see no evidence to accept the claim that the universe is controlled by a deity (certainly NOT a benevolent one).

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Ditto to Dante's comment.

It seems that any discussion I have w/ atheist vs. theist friends it ends up like....

Atheist "So why do you believe in Jesus again?"

Christian "well, why not.  so why are you an atheist?"

Atheist "well, why not be an atheist...."

Christian *silence*.....uhhh....good coffee eh?"

Atheist "...yea..."

That is usually the conclusion of an hour and a half discussion as to what logical/empirical evidence there is to support either claim. throw in a few straw men, some questions of practicality/applicability along the way too. yada yada.

.....so speaking of faith and whatnot.......evangelical atheists can be just as annoying as evangelical Christians imho.  Just thought I'd throw that out there.

"opinions are like ass-holes.  Everyone's got one, and they all stink."

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Well, I saw this "movie" thing, I think it was called indescribable, and there was this super religious guy speaking and on this movie it showed pictures of things far into space, really far (and they were REALLY cool!) and he was saying stuff along the lines of god made these because they're so amazing... or something like that, and at the end of the "movie" a picture was shown of this thing called "The X Nebula" and my whole class was like "wow" and so was I, the X nebula looks like a big ball of light blue gas, and in the middle there's a cross, like a holy cross, so I don't think that can be called evidence, but it makes you wonder, doesn't it? (Btw, I'm catholic, very similar to Christianity).

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Similar to christianity... *giggle*

There are wonderful and amazing things here on Earth, you don't need to go into space to see them. The way ice crystalises, the colour of a sunset, the mind-boggling complexity of the human body... And while they do make one think, they do not make one wonder.

Which may not be relevent, but I felt like saying it.

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Similar to christianity... *giggle*

I don't get you.

There are wonderful and amazing things here on Earth, you don't need to go into space to see them. The way ice crystalises, the colour of a sunset, the mind-boggling complexity of the human body... And while they do make one think, they do not make one wonder.

Wonder and think have similar meanings (at least in this case), eg. I wonder - I think.

Which may not be relevent, but I felt like saying it.

To the dungeon!!!

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Alright, if we're going to quibble over semantics:

They make one appreciate, but they do not make one wonder.

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And that makes me wonder. I have to question why, when someone sees something amazing, they can't just be satisfied that it is amazing. They have to think about what more there could be.

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Interesting enough - most scientists see the possibility of intelligent life on other worlds as a possibility (if not a probability) - yet, there is no single proof of any alien lifeforms out there. My point is, we can never know until we explore the whole universe.

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Well, the universe is huge, and to think that things on earth are the only living things in the universe is arrogant... well sort of. But isn't the universe supposed to be unlimited or something?

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well, it depends on what you might call the universe.  If you define it as the limits of space as defined by the presence of matter/other anomalies..etc....then the universe is finite, yet currently expanding.  If the universe you are defining as all existence, all posibilities of existence, and all variations thereof (including the plausible non-existence) then it is everything yet nothing........whatever.  i would continue but I'm hungry for some greasy american chinese food.  hope that at least helped for your question Gotenks.

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How should we know? This is theoretical physics. Emphasis on theoretical.

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Shit man I'm too hungry to be answerin these questions. lol, just kidding.  but really I watched a video about the 10th dimension somewhere on the internet.  bout 10 minutes long.  you should be able to find it w/ google.  it starts w/ dimensions 1-4, the dimensions we are used too (up down left right, foreward backward, and time).  then goes up to 10 dimensions.  you just have to watch it I would be typing forever if I tried to explain it.

*If I find the link I will post it later....  chinese food time*

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I believe that this is the link that Kokiri-Mentat would have directed you to.  It's a video about the 10 Dimensions and trying to picture what they mean.

It's just one theory.  People say there's something like 21 of the buggers.

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Once you start getting into the weird metaphysical arguments, then proofs are rather hard to come by. You can disprove some things because they're internally inconsistent. There are a number of potholes - it's too easy to posit a theological 'god of the gaps' - that is, defining god as the most godlike thing you can imagine that can't be directly disproven. In doing so, you create an unprovable hypothesis and unreliable hypothesis.

Realistically, the only way we can know the existence and nature of god is through direct experience. 

Anyone who has not had such an experience should probably reject the notion of the existence of God, unless they wish to hold to a view that God is somehow 'testing us' - or some variant on that theme.

At this point we need to factor in what we're actually doing with this belief. It's all very well idly saying "god is testing us" - but that fundamentally undermines any possibility of evangelism or action based on the existence of a god. It certainly seems to me incompatible with all the various significant readings of the Abrahamic god. There might be some sort of consciousness out there beyond the physical realm, but our concept of god is too far removed from it we cannot

I think there is a bit of an imbalance in that for all those who've not received divine guidance, it's more reasonable to assume atheism, because it is a disprovable hypothesis that is not (for the individuals, at least) disproven under scrutiny, unlike theism. To reduce it to a clich

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I am a Christian, I know that there is no proof for the existence of God, and I see no problem with this. As I have argued in another thread some time ago, there is no possible way for God Himself to provide us with adequate proof of His own existence, even if He does exist. How do you prove that you created the universe? How do you prove that you are omniscient or omnipotent? Indeed, if Jesus returned tomorrow, how could He prove that He is, in fact, Jesus? How can you tell the difference between a genuine god and some technologically advanced alien claiming to be a god?

Because God cannot provide us with irrefutable evidence of His own existence, faith is necessary.

That can be very frustrating to argue against, simply because the person doesn't understand the basics of argument. You could always point out the Invisible Pink Unicorn or the Flying Spaghetti Monster possibilities and force the person to prove their faith that they do not exist.

It's actually quite easy to prove that they do not exist, unless you define them in such a way that they are invisible, intangible, undetectable and/or do not live on Earth - in which case they're closer to being aliens or traditional gods rather than unicorns or spaghetti monsters.

I was reading some atheist blog earlier today and as always, the discussion in the comments section, once a a religious person interjected, turned into the same usual debate about whether or not there's god, etc.

One thing that I keep seeing come up again and again and again is this idea that atheists have faith TOO, just...faith that there isn't a god.  Seems simple enough, but it really frustrates me. I wanted to see what other people thought before I interject my FULL opinion here...do people who don't believe in god have to defend themselves by somehow providing proof that god doesn't exist?

That depends. Agnostics (people who claim to have no knowledge about the existence or non-existence of God) and atheists who mind their own business don't have to prove anything to anyone.

However, "evangelical atheists" who promote atheism as the answer to all your problems and seek to convert people to atheism clearly exhibit the signs of religious fervor. Their disbelief (or rather anti-belief) is so intense that it requires affirmative proof. They are required to provide proof that God doesn't exist.

Realistically, the only way we can know the existence and nature of god is through direct experience. Anyone who has not had such an experience should probably reject the notion of the existence of God, unless they wish to hold to a view that God is somehow 'testing us' - or some variant on that theme.

At this point we need to factor in what we're actually doing with this belief. It's all very well idly saying "god is testing us" - but that fundamentally undermines any possibility of evangelism or action based on the existence of a god. It certainly seems to me incompatible with all the various significant readings of the Abrahamic god.

Ummm, are we talking about the same Abrahamic God here? The God of the Bible seems to be exceptionally fond of testing people - starting with Abraham himself, in fact. It is perfectly reasonable to expect that such a God would want to test us now.

More to the point, it is rather useless for God to attempt to prove His own existence, because a determined skeptic will always be able to explain away apparent miracles, no matter how many of them God throws at him. If all else fails, you could always appeal to the Clarke solution: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, so even the most obvious and in-your-face divine intervention could be explained away by claiming it to be the manifestation of some advanced alien civilization.

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Edric, I'm going to try to keep from Dawkinsing out on you, but...this is exactly what I find so frustrating about discussions about the existence of god.  If god, by his very nature, is completely undetectable in ...well, apparently EVERY empirical way, then...gah, I dunno.  I've been reading crap all day for school, so my brain is mush.  I'll try again later.  I just find it ridiculous to posit the existence of a being and then define it as completely 100% unprovable.  But then maybe that's why I am what I am.

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