Indifference means that there is no God

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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davidm
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by davidm » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:44 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:12 pm
davidm wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:22 am
Right. They all "thought" that they did.

Doesn't mean they actually did.
Maybe. But it doesn't prove the opposite either. And after all, even in a court of law or a matter of historical verification, human testimony is considered one form of datum. It is not all we have, but when it is offered it must be weighed rationally, and in view of the available facts; not just ignored.

If you're frank, what it actually means is that you are conceding that you have no clue at all whether or not they did. The reason you can't respond to my request is that, rather unsurprisingly, you absolutely have no objective data even to imply that they didn't mean what they said...you just arbitrarily choose to disregard their accounts...for reasons you'd have to explain, but no doubt will not.

Of course, while we have no reason to disbelieve your claim that you personally have had no such experience -- for had you had it, you would surely not take the cynical and non-evidentiary position upon which you're insisting -- that does not go one tiny step in the direction of giving us reason to think you know what you're talking about when you dismiss their accounts. So if you wanted anyone to have reason to believe you, you would surely need some stitch of evidence that they were deceived or not telling the truth.

Now again, what would your evidence in this case be?
This is all rather silly, of course. First, I never claimed, nor even implied, that they did not mean what they said -- this is just you putting words into my mouth, a not uncommon tactic for you.

As to the rest, someone who claims to have met God has the burden of proof to substantiate his claim. It's not my burden to disprove his claim. Generally in matters like this, if we're smart, we employ Bayesian probabilities to evaluate outlier claims.

If I said I met God and he is the Flying Spaghetti Monster, would you find that a credible claim? Would you -- by your own standard as quoted above -- feel the need to provide "a stitch of evidence" that I was deceived or not telling the truth? Of course you wouldn't.

Reflex
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by Reflex » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:09 pm

The OP is just silly rhetoric full of presuppositions.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:30 pm

davidm wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:44 pm
First, I never claimed, nor even implied, that they did not mean what they said -- this is just you putting words into my mouth, a not uncommon tactic for you.
Misdirection.

What is your evidence?
...someone who claims to have met God has the burden of proof to substantiate his claim.
Which is exactly why I said we have no reason even to question your claim to your own having had no experience of God. No problem. We're all with you there.
It's not my burden to disprove his claim.

Not "his" claim. But it's your burden to prove YOUR OWN claim, namely your belief that all those who claim to know God are lying or deceived, or whatever. For if even ONE of them was ever telling the truth, then you're simply wrong. And either way, you have no justification for your claim that they were lying or deceived, or whatever you imagine they were...unless you have evidence.

Which, again, I note you don't try to provide. You know you're bluffing. The truth is that all your disbelief is simply arbitrary. An honest position would be to say, "They may have been telling the truth, or they may have been deceived; but as someone who admittedly has absolutely no experience of God, and not a stitch of evidence to call into question their testimony, I simply cannot tell."

Of course, there are reasons you should take their claim seriously, just as a judge would take seriously the co-ordinated testimony of diverse witnesses over periods of thousands of years...especially since most of the witnesses never even knew each other. That requires some delicate explaining. But in any case, you rationally owe it to limit your skepticism to your own knowledge...unless you produce evidence.

But I suspect you won't do that. I suspect that if you're like most atheists, you simply have too much at stake, having declared and invested your pride in your irrational, visceral rejection of the whole idea of God. Now you cannot afford to open the possibility again, even a crack, lest the whole sorry edifice of atheism should crumble beneath you.

So I'm expecting some personal slurs, some objections that asking you for evidence to justify your refusal to believe is "unfair" in some form, and then not one stitch of evidence yet again.

But we'll see.

davidm
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by davidm » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:58 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:30 pm
davidm wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:44 pm
First, I never claimed, nor even implied, that they did not mean what they said -- this is just you putting words into my mouth, a not uncommon tactic for you.
Misdirection.

What is your evidence?
...someone who claims to have met God has the burden of proof to substantiate his claim.
Which is exactly why I said we have no reason even to question your claim to your own having had no experience of God. No problem. We're all with you there.
It's not my burden to disprove his claim.

Not "his" claim. But it's your burden to prove YOUR OWN claim, namely your belief that all those who claim to know God are lying or deceived, or whatever. For if even ONE of them was ever telling the truth, then you're simply wrong. And either way, you have no justification for your claim that they were lying or deceived, or whatever you imagine they were...unless you have evidence.

Which, again, I note you don't try to provide. You know you're bluffing. The truth is that all your disbelief is simply arbitrary. An honest position would be to say, "They may have been telling the truth, or they may have been deceived; but as someone who admittedly has absolutely no experience of God, and not a stitch of evidence to call into question their testimony, I simply cannot tell."

Of course, there are reasons you should take their claim seriously, just as a judge would take seriously the co-ordinated testimony of diverse witnesses over periods of thousands of years...especially since most of the witnesses never even knew each other. That requires some delicate explaining. But in any case, you rationally owe it to limit your skepticism to your own knowledge...unless you produce evidence.

But I suspect you won't do that. I suspect that if you're like most atheists, you simply have too much at stake, having declared and invested your pride in your irrational, visceral rejection of the whole idea of God. Now you cannot afford to open the possibility again, even a crack, lest the whole sorry edifice of atheism should crumble beneath you.

So I'm expecting some personal slurs, some objections that asking you for evidence to justify your refusal to believe is "unfair" in some form, and then not one stitch of evidence yet again.

But we'll see.
First, if you had ever actually read my posts with actually trying to understand what I am saying, and while employing the philosophical principle of charity, you would already know that I identify as an agnostic weak atheist -- which puts paid right there to the huge stawman of my position that you have constructed above.

I noticed that you evaded the rest of my points, and that you labeled my correct statement that I never said people claiming to have met god didn't believe what they were saying as "misdirection." Of course it's you who engage in misdirection by saying this; the honorable thing to do would be to admit that you willfully mischaracterized my position and apologize for having done so. But as a practitioner of Christian apologetics who indirectly slurs everyone all the time, that is beyond you.

Of course it's possible that somebody has met god if god exists. If he doesn't exist, then it doesn't matter how many people say they have met him whether they mean it or not; if god does not exist then they are simply mistaken or some are being deceptive, like huckster preachers.

Yesterday I met god and it turns out he's the Flying Spaghetti Monster; are you going to prove me wrong? Do you have any evidence that I don't mean what I say or that this did not happen?

Plenty of people claim to have been abducted by aliens called Grays; surely you are willing to believe them unless you can provide evidence otherwise?

davidm
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by davidm » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:11 pm

Reflex wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:09 pm
The OP is just silly rhetoric full of presuppositions.
It took an atheist like me to pinpoint the flaw in the OP, rather than do what you do — just throw out an unsupported rhetorical one-liner and call it a day.

It’s not clear that God can be an infinite number of ways, if he exists. If he can be an infinite number of ways, there is indeed zero probability that he can be any one way; BUT, as I explained (with two examples) “zero probability” does NOT mean impossible — though impossible does mean “zero probability.”

Also, the OP’s use of modal logic is fatally flawed.

You’re welcome, theists.

uwot
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by uwot » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:25 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:30 pm
... it's your burden to prove YOUR OWN claim, namely your belief that all those who claim to know God are lying or deceived, or whatever.
Mr Can, I see you are still struggling with the difference between:
I don't believe p.
and
I believe not p.
As before, I don't think anyone is claiming to know "that all those who claim to know God are lying or deceived, or whatever." The only requirement of atheism is that you don't believe them.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:30 pm
For if even ONE of them was ever telling the truth, then you're simply wrong.
Well, for any claim to know god to be true, it would first need to be established that god exists. To claim that god exists, because you know him, is therefore a circular argument.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:30 pm
And either way, you have no justification for your claim that they were lying or deceived, or whatever you imagine they were...unless you have evidence.
All the evidence you need that someone doesn't believe that god exists is their testimony to that effect. If you wish to change their belief, it is for your to provide the evidence, or argument, that will persuade them.

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-1-
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by -1- » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:40 pm

To davidM and Bahman:

If there is zero chance for a thing, then that thing is never going to happen.It is impossible, in other words.

But knowledge is not the same as the real thing. Bahman is arguing that there is zero chance of knowing god, because god can potentially be any one of an infinite number of manifests. We know if god exists, he is of one manifest at any given time. But our knowledge of it is choosing from an infinite number of possibilities, so our knowing god has zero chance.

This is not to say there is no god. This is to say our knowledge of god has zero chance.

In other words, whether god exists or not, but assuming that he could be of an infinite variety of manifestations, we, believers, have no way (zero chance) of knowing the nature and manifestation of god.

(No manifestation is certain, but there is certainly a huge infestation of god on Earth among people...)

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:43 pm

davidm wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:58 pm
agnostic weak atheist
Only if you drop the "atheist" tag. Be a pure "agnostic," and we've got no issues. Otherwise, it's dead on.
Of course it's possible that somebody has met god if god exists. If he doesn't exist, then it doesn't matter how many people say they have met him whether they mean it or not; if god does not exist then they are simply mistaken or some are being deceptive, like huckster preachers.
And your evidence for preferring the latter interpretation over the former is...not presented!
Yesterday I met god and it turns out he's the Flying Spaghetti Monster; are you going to prove me wrong? Do you have any evidence that I don't mean what I say or that this did not happen?
Well, I'll play along, even though you're being gratuitously insulting again. My answer is as follows: I'm going to say, "That's not God." And my reason for saying so is that I know who God is, and that isn't He. For one thing, Spaghetti beings are contingent, localized entities with no Supreme Being features at all. I would say that you have no idea what a "God" even is, and for certain you didn't meet one, because what you describe fails all the qualities of the concept "God."

Note, however, that I won't be in any position to say, "You didn't meet some spaghetti-being," unless I have evidence. I do not know so much, even if I suspect it. Perhaps some huckster in a spaghetti costume showed up and fooled you. Perhaps you took LSD and had a Pastafarian delusion. Or perhaps there is some other explanation. I cannot rationally say more than I know about that. I certainly have no reason to call you a liar or a "huckster."

But you will tell me that Moses, Abraham, the disciples, the Apostle Paul, and all Christians up to the present day have never met God. In fact, according to you, no one has. You must have reasons for thinking that's true....unless you're being irrational.

I still want to know your evidence.

Well, unless you are now happy to drop the "atheist" nonsense, and revert to the "I just don't know" position, in which case I'd say you're being balanced and reasonable about the question.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:46 pm

-1- wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:40 pm
This is not to say there is no god.
Correct.
This is to say our knowledge of god has zero chance.
Incorrect.

You can realize this if you think about this fact: all it takes is one person -- just one -- in the entire history of human civilization -- to say genuinely, "I know, or have had an experience of God," and Atheism is done like dinner, and done forever. That is, if that one experience is genuine, which we are discussing.

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-1-
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by -1- » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:51 pm

To whom it may concern:

It is of a personal note, but it may prove useful for some other users of the site: I have noticed that arguing with Mr. or Ms. I. C. is futile. He or she will lucidly and in an erudite way use fallacies in the most blatant way, and s/he denies doing so, furthermore, s/he uses ill logic to challenge his debating partners. S/he is a slippery eel, so to speak, and not because s/he is clever, but because s/he does not keep to the rules of logic at any time in any manner whatsoever.

It is my personal opinion that debating with Mr. or Ms. I. C. only leads his debating partner to extreme frustration. I have stopped debating with Mr. or Ms. I. C. for this very reason a very long time ago, and I put him on my "ignore" list.

Nick_A is not any better, but he is respectful despite his delusion-driven megalomania, and at least he does not get at your throat, so to speak.

And Attofishpi is reasoned, but there is a line he or she won't cross, and that line is when evidence and logic triumphs over his faith; he won't accept a winning argument when it crosses that line. Otherwise he or she is a fine person, in my esteem.

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bahman
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by bahman » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:53 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:16 pm
bahman wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:14 am
Suppose that God is in X. This means that the chance of having a God like that is equal to x/(X+Y)=1/2=50% where x=X=Y=1.
No, I want a real quantity to substitute for X. For if you understand algebra, you know that an X is a placeholder for a real quantity, like a 1 or a 25 or a 1,003, or whatever. If something real can't be plugged in and worked through, then the equation isn't an equation at all.

What is that real quantity or quality? What is the value of X, in reference to God? Put in anything you think works. You name it. I'll plug it into your syllogism for you, and we'll both see if the result makes any sense.
Good, evil, jealous, proud, ...
Last edited by bahman on Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

uwot
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by uwot » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:55 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:43 pm
Well, unless you are now happy to drop the "atheist" nonsense, and revert to the "I just don't know" position, in which case I'd say you're being balanced and reasonable about the question.
Once again, Mr Can: "I just don't know" is perfectly compatible with atheism, just as it is with theism. You don't have to 'know' your god exists to believe it.
Here again is agnosticism defined by the man who invented the term:
"Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe. Consequently, agnosticism puts aside not only the greater part of popular theology, but also the greater part of anti-theology."
-Thomas Huxley.
Note that he contrasts 'theology' with 'anti-theology', rather than atheism. It's a distinction you would do well to understand.

davidm
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by davidm » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:57 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:43 pm

Well, I'll play along, even though you're being gratuitously insulting again.
You gratuitously insult everyone with your slippery-eel "arguments."
My answer is as follows: I'm going to say, "That's not God." And my reason for saying so is that I know who God is, and that isn't He.
Well there ya go. Your "argument" is now entirely circular, as uwot just pointed out.

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bahman
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by bahman » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:58 pm

-1- wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:40 pm
To davidM and Bahman:

If there is zero chance for a thing, then that thing is never going to happen.It is impossible, in other words.

But knowledge is not the same as the real thing. Bahman is arguing that there is zero chance of knowing god, because god can potentially be any one of an infinite number of manifests. We know if god exists, he is of one manifest at any given time. But our knowledge of it is choosing from an infinite number of possibilities, so our knowing god has zero chance.

This is not to say there is no god. This is to say our knowledge of god has zero chance.

In other words, whether god exists or not, but assuming that he could be of an infinite variety of manifestations, we, believers, have no way (zero chance) of knowing the nature and manifestation of god.

(No manifestation is certain, but there is certainly a huge infestation of god on Earth among people...)
Yes. That is what I am trying to say. God for example can be hate too.

davidm
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Re: Indifference means that there is no God

Post by davidm » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:11 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:43 pm
davidm wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:58 pm
agnostic weak atheist
Only if you drop the "atheist" tag. Be a pure "agnostic," and we've got no issues. Otherwise, it's dead on.
As uwot points out, agnosticism is perfectly compatible with both atheism and theism. Dostoevsky, for example, appears to have been an agnostic theist and this tandem was arguably the spur to his greatest work, The Brothers Karamazov.
And your evidence for preferring the latter interpretation over the former is...not presented!
But now you've changed the question -- in that slippery-eel way of yours! Do you think your interlocutors here don't notice this sort of thing, or do you imagine we are hayseeds who are taken in by holy-rollers? The question now becomes, does God exist or not? And you're really asking for evidence that God does not exist -- whereas of course the right way is to ask for evidence that he DOES exist. And -- as I said -- if he exists, of course it is possible that one or more people have met him. But if he doesn't exist, then no one has met him no matter what they say. You seem to think that people saying that they met god is evidence that god exists. It isn't. Any more than my saying I was abducted by Grays is evidence for Grays.

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