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The Delusional Atheist
Posted: 26 December 2010 09:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Excellent! We have a person who is unwilling to admit they are 100% sure that an ice cube will melt when placed in a hot oven.
This is obfuscation. It’s childish really. Is this logic or reason? It’s not even science! It’s woo-woo science.
Science, or better yet, strict, controlled methodology, using all manner of tests and double tests will show that an ice cube will melt every time when placed in an oven. 100% of the time! But we don’t need a laboratory for this- a child knows this.
So what is this? It’s obfuscation…it’s circumlocuting around my original question. It’s not wanting to set a precedent so that the specific reasons of a possibility of god has to be explained. You can take your hidden possibility of god and hide it the haystack with all the other infinite possibilities.

The silver ball example. You have never heard of these silver “orbs”, nor have you ever seen them. Yet you can’t rule out their possible existence!
Merely because I suggested it to you! They were suggested to you! Again ridiculous. And I call obfuscation again. I think your responses were not honest. I think you are dodging the question.
In any event; even believing your answer that you can’t be sure an egg will break 100% of the time when struck with a hammer; the reasons you claim this is not 100% certain is distinctly different than your claim that the possibility of a god exists. Yes, it is.
Because I don’t believe you think it is not 100% certain an egg will break when struck with a hammer.
I think you didn’t want to give me a more reasoned, more complete answer as to why you leave open the possibility of a god.
A more reasoned, complete answer would be that a god-to you, is something that you heard about that is a possible explanation for unanswered questions.
A possible explanation for origins. And seeing as how we don’t have a complete picture(and we may never have one) the possibility of a god is open for you. Of course there are even more reasons too, but these might not apply to you. One example being: possibility for spiritual comfort.
I didn’t ask you your reasons for believing it is not 100% possible that an egg will break with a hammer. I’m not interested in esoteric blather.
I’m interested in showing the mechanics of faith, or perceived possibilities. All of your answers have done a splendid job of showing the agnostic’s methodology for reasoning.

[ Edited: 26 December 2010 09:10 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 26 December 2010 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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The problem, Vyazma, is that there’s a difference between what we see in the world we live in and the mathematics of science.  I recall my physical chemistry instructor asking the class, “What chance do you see for all the air molecules in this room to end up in this beaker?”  We all agreed the answer was none, then he did the math on the board and showed that the probability was 50% once in ten to the forty-seventh power years.  That’s much, much, much longer than the universe has been in existence, but mathematically it is possible.  The difference is between the practical answer and the fact that scientists are trained never to make absolute statements, because there’s always a chance, no matter how submicroscopic, they might be wrong. 

I think most of us here have a 100% disbelief in the existence of a god, but, when challenged, our scientific nit-picking comes into play and we backpedal to, as I said in another thread, “well, 99.999999%”.

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Posted: 26 December 2010 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Occam do we see silver orbs floating around peoples backs? That was one of my examples. The respondent said he was not 100% certain these don’t exist.
This has nothing to do with the physical world. Address the subject.
Give me a reason why you are not 100% certain a god doesn’t exist!! Spell it out.
I gave the reasons in my last post, until you explain it differently, I’ll assume that is the reason.

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Posted: 26 December 2010 10:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Occam. - 26 December 2010 09:58 PM

The problem, Vyazma, is that there’s a difference between what we see in the world we live in and the mathematics of science.  I recall my physical chemistry instructor asking the class, “What chance do you see for all the air molecules in this room to end up in this beaker?”  We all agreed the answer was none, then he did the math on the board and showed that the probability was 50% once in ten to the forty-seventh power years.  That’s much, much, much longer than the universe has been in existence, but mathematically it is possible.  The difference is between the practical answer and the fact that scientists are trained never to make absolute statements, because there’s always a chance, no matter how submicroscopic, they might be wrong. 

I think most of us here have a 100% disbelief in the existence of a god, but, when challenged, our scientific nit-picking comes into play and we backpedal to, as I said in another thread, “well, 99.999999%”.

Occam

Better yet Occam. Above I stated that I wasn’t interested in the reasons why the person believed he was not 100% certain an egg would break.
I stated it was esoteric blather. The chalkboard reason. The funny moments in the science class reason!
I’m interested why a person can’t be 100% certain a god doesn’t exist. I think you’ve got it Occam.
Like your air molecules example, if you would be kind enough to write me out some formulas showing that the possibility of god exists I would be so grateful.

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Posted: 27 December 2010 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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It’s all in how one likes to do one’s rounding, and whether one is more a mathematician or a physicist at heart. The mathematician will say that 99.99999999999999% never equals 100%. The physicist will say that for all intents and purposes in the present context 99.999% can be taken as 100%.

And of course the statistician will say that 95% equals certainty. So statistically if you’re over 95% sure of something, you’re certain of it.

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Posted: 27 December 2010 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Well these numbers probably work for things that can be quantified mathematically, however someones certainty or sureness cannot be measured in percentiles. At best they can be stated as arbitrary numbers which have no scale or base.
Even my claim(of 100%) could be scrutinized I suppose. And it doesn’t really matter. I still claim to be certain there is no god. Others say they can’t be certain there is no god. Why do others say they are not certain?
I’m still waiting for an answer.
Wait, heck! I just thought of something. I’ll do the inverse and explain why I am certain there is no god.(in an abbreviated answer).
1. It is the most obvious human-made, evolved contrivance.
2. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of god.
3. Through the system of suggestion and inculcation, the seed of the god concept gets passed on from generation to generation. I believe it to be endemic to the “evolutionary motherboard” of humanity, and I doubt it could ever be removed from the “board”.
So with these obvious reasons I can be 100% certain there is no god. I strongly feel that those many of you who, have the intelligence to reason away the god-concept, but still can’t let go completely are basically bound by the tendrils of reason No.3.
As was briefly shown above( and I’m prepared to continue the debate ad nauseum if necessary) the common routine of claiming through science that nothing is 100% certain doesn’t apply to many things. But it doesn’t apply to the god concept especially. And it doesn’t apply for mostly different reasons.

But of course why should I have to explain why I am certain that god doesn’t exist? Why would someone have to explain why they were 100% certain they didn’t have three eyes? Huhn? Why? Why would they have to explain that?
So please explain to me why any of you leave open the possibility of a god? Don’t be embarrassed…you can admit faith, or hope. Or the fact that you just cannot shake off the inculcation.

[ Edited: 27 December 2010 10:03 AM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 27 December 2010 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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VYAZMA - 27 December 2010 09:38 AM

Well these numbers probably work for things that can be quantified mathematically, however someones certainty or sureness cannot be measured in percentiles. At best they can be stated as arbitrary numbers which have no scale or base.

That’s right. More reason to say that for all intents and purposes we’re ‘100% sure’ that an ice cube will melt in a hot oven, etc. The number (100%) is really not accurately quantifiable when we’re talking about beliefs, and certainly not enough to distinguish 99.9% from 100%, for purposes of these kinds of examples.

But I do understand that one wants to avoid hubris. It’s a good thing to admit that, for all things appear right now, we could be wrong. So maybe we don’t want to admit to the 100%. Just a little bit under, we say. 99 point something.  OK, but that goes for anything, ice melting in a furnace or ghosts existing or the traditional God, etc.

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Posted: 27 December 2010 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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dougsmith - 27 December 2010 10:13 AM
VYAZMA - 27 December 2010 09:38 AM

Well these numbers probably work for things that can be quantified mathematically, however someones certainty or sureness cannot be measured in percentiles. At best they can be stated as arbitrary numbers which have no scale or base.

That’s right. More reason to say that for all intents and purposes we’re ‘100% sure’ that an ice cube will melt in a hot oven, etc. The number (100%) is really not accurately quantifiable when we’re talking about beliefs, and certainly not enough to distinguish 99.9% from 100%, for purposes of these kinds of examples.

But I do understand that one wants to avoid hubris. It’s a good thing to admit that, for all things appear right now, we could be wrong. So maybe we don’t want to admit to the 100%. Just a little bit under, we say. 99 point something.  OK, but that goes for anything, ice melting in a furnace or ghosts existing or the traditional God, etc.

LOL  Hubris? There was arrogance earlier, and of course this thread’s title: Delusional!
Well we don’t believe in ice cubes melting in furnaces. They just do. Every time..100% of the time.
But Doug, you’ve answered my question as it concerns you well enough. You say you aren’t certain because you want to avoid hubris. You don’t want to sound like a “know-it-all”. Maybe it makes good open-conversational sense to not be definitive.
So as long as you know for yourself that there is definitely not a god, it’s ok to leave open the minute possibility for conversational purposes.
I hope I got that right…and that is the kind of answer I was looking for. A legitimate reason why someone would claim to be not certain.
Notice I said “claim”. For those of you who are not claiming, but are in fact actually not certain, I’ll need a more in depth answer please.

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Posted: 27 December 2010 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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VYAZMA - 27 December 2010 10:28 AM

But Doug, you’ve answered my question as it concerns you well enough. You say you aren’t certain because you want to avoid hubris. You don’t want to sound like a “know-it-all”. Maybe it makes good open-conversational sense to not be definitive.
So as long as you know for yourself that there is definitely not a god, it’s ok to leave open the minute possibility for conversational purposes.
I hope I got that right…and that is the kind of answer I was looking for.

Yep, you got it right.  smile

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Posted: 27 December 2010 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Let’s change a few words in:
1. It is the most obvious human-made, evolved contrivance.
2. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of god.
3. Through the system of suggestion and inculcation, the seed of the god concept gets passed on from generation to generation. I believe it to be endemic to the “evolutionary motherboard” of humanity, and I doubt it could ever be removed from the “board”.
====
Rather than a god, let’s try Newton’s statement of the mathematics describing gravity.
1.  It was a most obvious human-made (by Newton) evolved contrivance.
2. There was absolutely no evidence for the laws he stated to be wrong.
3. Through the system of suggestion and inculcation to scientists and physics students, the seed of Newton’s gravity concept gets passed on from generation to generation. 

In, say, 1900 if you had challenged Newton’s view to a scientist, he’d have told you you were crazy, that it was 100% true and accurate.

Then, some nut like Einstein comes along and throws a monkey wrench (albeit a microscopic one) into the works, and finally everyone has to recognize that they were only 99,999% right with Newton.

I don’t know if this helps, but I tried.  smile

Occam

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Posted: 28 December 2010 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Not really Occam. I just wanted to know if you are not 100% certain a god exists. If you’re not, then perhaps you can describe some of the reasons why you are not certain.
According to your analogy above, I’m guessing perhaps you leave open the possibility of a god because we don’t have all the facts about the universe?
Were you trying to say that for you god may be the Einstein of your above analogy?  Where we have all these theories 99.9% correct but it just might take god to complete the puzzle?

The reason you leave open the possibility of a god is the fact that everything is not known. God for you may be the missing link to alot of unknowns.
Yes? No?

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Posted: 28 December 2010 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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I don’t think you understand the difference I’m (and others) trying to point out.  I have a 100% belief by faith that god does not exist.  However, If I remove the “by faith” then I’m making a definite proposition, and as such, a theist can legitimately say, “If you postulate a position, you have the obligation to prove it.”  Since we can all agree that it’s pretty well impossible to prove a negative, I’d have to say “I can’t”, and I’m damned if I’ll ever give any theist the satisfaction of hearing me give in on an argument.  So, that’s the basis for my 99.99999999% weasel words.

Occam

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Posted: 29 December 2010 03:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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VYAZMA - 26 December 2010 09:08 PM

Excellent! We have a person who is unwilling to admit they are 100% sure that an ice cube will melt when placed in a hot oven.
This is obfuscation. It’s childish really. Is this logic or reason? It’s not even science! It’s woo-woo science.
Science, or better yet, strict, controlled methodology, using all manner of tests and double tests will show that an ice cube will melt every time when placed in an oven. 100% of the time! But we don’t need a laboratory for this- a child knows this.
So what is this? It’s obfuscation…it’s circumlocuting around my original question. It’s not wanting to set a precedent so that the specific reasons of a possibility of god has to be explained. You can take your hidden possibility of god and hide it the haystack with all the other infinite possibilities.

Perhaps it is obfuscation however the simple fact is that, despite the fact that some things are held to be true (by which I mean so supported by repeated observations that no one, not even the wingnuts, dare claim otherwise) NOTHING in science is actually held to be beyond challenge i.e. NOTHING is absolute.

Given that you were trying to claim something to be absolute (100%) I took the philosophical stance (correctly) that whilst some things are known to occur one can never be absolutely sure that they always were or always were so.

So yes, if I hit an egg with a hammer I would almost certainly expect it to break but that near certainty is based on repeated observations that this is so ... it only takes one validatable observation that it is not to change that. It’s also worth pointing out that whilst it was implied, nothing about the question actually stated it was a chicken’s egg, that it was at “normal” temperature and pressure, at “normal” gravity that the hammer was of a specific mass and wielded by a human strong enough to do so and in a fashion designed to optimally break said egg.

The point I am making about the certain claim that there is no god is that it is inherently flawed because we do not yet know everything about the universe we observe around us, the god in question is rarely consistently defined and all claims to date have proven to be unsupported in any validatable sense ... as such I take the philosophical stance that there is no such god until demonstrated otherwise and I absolutely (LOL) believe that is the correct one to take and that those who claim to know there is no such being (as a fact) are on ground every bit as shaky as those who claim they know there is. Don’t get me wrong ... I personally believe there is no god, I don’t see how there can be and I am utterly sceptical of any claim that there is but I am equally sceptical (if more than a little sympathetic) to the claim that there is none and simply assume (more than assume, insist) there is none until such time as validatable evidence is provided.

Keke

[ Edited: 29 December 2010 05:37 AM by Kyuuketsuki UK ]
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Posted: 29 December 2010 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Perhaps it is obfuscation however the simple fact is that, despite the fact that some things are held to be true (by which I mean so supported by repeated observations that no one, not even the wingnuts, dare claim otherwise) NOTHING in science is actually held to be beyond challenge i.e. NOTHING is absolute.

Where exactly is Science? Is that near Toledo?

Given that you were trying to claim something to be absolute (100%) I took the philosophical stance (correctly) that whilst some things are known to occur one can never be absolutely sure that they always were or always were so.

I wonder if you would go through all the trouble to defend this point of view if we were discussing the certainty of say…the atomic weight difference of different atoms? Or the certainty of the wind blowing on your face? I doubt it. Unfortunately I’m afraid there is a certain gravitas for you concerning the “daring” to discount god 100%. I’m 100% certain of this too!

So yes, if I hit an egg with a hammer I would almost certainly expect it to break but that near certainty is based on repeated observations that this is so ... it only takes one validatable observation that it is not to change that. It’s also worth pointing out that whilst it was implied, nothing about the question actually stated it was a chicken’s egg, that it was at “normal” temperature and pressure, at “normal” gravity that the hammer was of a specific mass and wielded by a human strong enough to do so and in a fashion designed to optimally break said egg.

Forget the egg…

The point I am making about the certain claim that there is no god is that it is inherently flawed because we do not yet know everything about the universe we observe around us, the god in question is rarely consistently defined and all claims to date have proven to be unsupported in any validatable sense ... as such I take the philosophical stance that there is no such god until demonstrated otherwise and I absolutely (LOL) believe that is the correct one to take and that those who claim to know there is no such being (as a fact) are on ground every bit as shaky as those who claim they know there is. Don’t get me wrong ... I personally believe there is no god, I don’t see how there can be and I am utterly sceptical of any claim that there is but I am equally sceptical (if more than a little sympathetic) to the claim that there is none and simply assume (more than assume, insist) there is none until such time as validatable evidence is provided.

So there is a possibility god exists for you…the whole “unknown” reasons” thing. You can take off your lab coat now and come back to Earth.
One other thing…Are you 100% certain you will die? Are you 100% certain what will become of “you” after death?

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Posted: 29 December 2010 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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VYAZMA - 29 December 2010 06:00 AM

Where exactly is Science? Is that near Toledo?

Are you on drugs or something? If that was meant to be in some way clever I’m afraid it utterly missed me ...perhaps something only an American would understand (fortunately not my problem).

VYAZMA - 29 December 2010 06:00 AM

I wonder if you would go through all the trouble to defend this point of view if we were discussing the certainty of say…the atomic weight difference of different atoms? Or the certainty of the wind blowing on your face? I doubt it.

Probably not but who knows ...perhaps I am agnostic to that too?

VYAZMA - 29 December 2010 06:00 AM

Unfortunately I’m afraid there is a certain gravitas for you concerning the “daring” to discount god 100%. I’m 100% certain of this too!

Rather stupidly if I may say!

VYAZMA - 29 December 2010 06:00 AM

Forget the egg…

Why? You’re the one who raised it?

VYAZMA - 29 December 2010 06:00 AM

So there is a possibility god exists for you…the whole “unknown” reasons” thing. You can take off your lab coat now and come back to Earth.

There is indeed a possibility ... I’d say a possibility about equal to the possibility that of “The Man In The Moon”, Superman, Father Christmas. Leprechauns, Faeries at the bottom of the garden or the claim that there is a cream cake at the centre of the Earth.

VYAZMA - 29 December 2010 06:00 AM

One other thing…Are you 100% certain you will die? Are you 100% certain what will become of “you” after death?

That’s two other things the answers to which, in order, are no and I have no idea (my current assumption is simply that I will simply stop & cease to be in any awareness sense).

Keke

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