Why I became an atheist: Why did you not?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Dinosaur, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I know the meaning of the term, but just need clarity as to how he meant it in that context.
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  3. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    It meant we cannot look at any scientific theory that could contain god without the theory itself.
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  5. PartyBoy Registered Member

    Then perhaps the clarification isn't directed towards you, but the basis of why it felt insulting.

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  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Very good; thank you.

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  8. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    In the journey that is life, we grow, live and die. In that short yet precious span of time one can only hope to avoid the painful parts and seek out only the brighter memories. For some however this but a fleeting dream never to be reconciled or grasped. We all seek love, shelter and companionship. We all wish to belong to be accepted and cherished by each other. For me I had to repress those emotions just in order to maintain my sanity. When I look upon this world with my impartial eyes, I do become angry but that anger stems from a deep disappointment and sadness ...I simply weep internally gazing upon the tragedy that plays out before me each and every day. People abusing or degrading others, war, conflict, genocide, indoctrination, slavery, exploitation. Much of our history can show these being linked to the false ideological premise of putting so much faith into systems of archaic supernatural explanations. Seeing that such barbaric and archaic notions of how humans should behave are accepted as socially acceptable or paramount to our very stability as a nation renders me to question if humanity has ever made progress. Evaluation leads only to a tidal wave of depression without any form of emotional flotation device. My defense mechanism is apathy or cynical humor. The barrage of this knowledge and information simply makes me feel all the more powerless to stop or prevent tragedies from transpiring under the façade of religion being protected and in turn exacerbated by a society that labels it absolved or gives faith preferential treatment. That can begin to overwhelm a person and lead them to into a state of apathy. For me religion is a joke, with the punch line being the following: human’s rights violation, genocide, fanaticism, delusion, hatred, bigotry, homophobia, misogyny, indoctrination and overall a detriment to any modern society or free-thinking person.
    I'm not alone in my sentiments.
    Religion, Belief in God(s) these ideas/institutions are truly the accepted insanity of our society.

    My thoughts to any person who does believe in a god “Your God is the Best God. In fact he’s the only God. All the other Gods are ridiculous, made up rubbish. Not yours though. yours is real”

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  9. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Trippy,


    In my scenario nobody would ever be able to prove someone is not guilty **, although it may be possible sometime in the future to find evidence of guilt. Nobody innocent would spend any time in jail.

    It is your "Evidence of absence" that considers absence of evidence, evidence.

    My "Standard" is trust in evidence known and ignore belief.

    ** Although it would be possible to prove some humans are not guilty (i.e. an infant could never be guilty). I have maintained we cannot prove or disprove god which is not understood by science (yet or possibly never). Humans are under a different class as they are understood by science. I kept with the above analogy created by you, even though there is an ability to prove innocence in some circumstances, to show how it best adapts to my overall message that it is evidence only that counts.
  10. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    What a load of tripe. Proof positive you haven't understood a thing that has been said to you. It must hurt to twist your brain up so much to come out with something so absurd.

    Hypothesis: The accused is guilty.

    If we follow my path and accept that absence of evidence can be evidence of absence then we can accept that an absence of evidence of guilt is evidence of an absence of guilt. This implies that occasionaly a guilty party will go free.
    If we follow your path and assert that an absence of evidence can never be accepted as evidence of absence then we can never accept that an absence of evidence of guilt. This implies that a falsely accused genuinely innocent party will be imprisoned on either blind faith that the police have the right person, or the annecdotal evidence that the person has been accused.

    No amount of twisting and squirming on your part is ever going to change that this outcome is directly implied by your assertion that an absence of evidence can never be accepted as evidence of absence.

    If you want to withdraw your absurdity, feel free, but don't lie about it.
  11. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Trippy,


    I will say that applying this to people does not apply as much. I also mentioned this in my last thread, as an infant could obviously never be guilty, and we could also prove someone witnessed by many outside of the country at the time of the incident (alibi) could not be guilty.

    In my situation you are correct in that (for the sake of this discussion), I am saying we should not exclude innocence with anybody (from a scientific view). This DOES NOT mean that they would ever be imprisoned as there is no proof they are guilty. Your premise surmises that we live in a society where evidence is not needed and belief itself could imprison someone. Real evidence is required in the real world. Innocent until PROVEN guilty, etc.

    Your Evidence of absence would however be a great tool for adjusting your belief, although belief is not exactly science now is it?

    Probabilities dictate most people are not criminals, and if someone lives the good life and seems to be fair and loving and happy then there would be absence of evidence that they were anything but, so you could use "absence of evidence" to affect your belief about that person, and ASS/U/ME they are innocent.

    I am not sure what your argument here is?

    Are you saying we should not believe in god because of lack of evidence? This would be a valid idea/belief.

    If you said "God does not exist because of lack of evidence", then that is ridiculous.

    I am not sure you are separating fact from belief.

    See. This is the type of reasoning I half expect bans every time I contradict you. The last post contained no lies, nor was it absurd.

    What was the lie in my last post?

    I have reviewed what I typed many times (line by line) trying to grasp how you could even imagine a lie construed in there, but I'm at a loss. I think the error was in comprehension (not my comprehension either).

    "Science should be based on the minimum number of beliefs.”

    Also ...
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  12. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Denying it doesn't change it.

    It's an analogy. For someone who has spent so much time berating others over your analogies, you sure are slow at picking them up.

    No. This is almost a strawman. I'm pointing out the consequences of everybody followed your philosophy, and refused to accept an absence of evidence as evidence of absence.

    That's right. Because in the real world we accept an absence of evidence of guilt as being evidence of the absence of guilt. That's part of the point I've been making. Get it?

    Strawman, and it makes me want to puke.

    Let me repeat for you, again.
    Where a hypothesis makes a prediction, and there is no evidence to support that prediction, then the absence of evidence supporting that prediction can be regarded as evidence disproving the hypothesis.

    I'm not talking about belief. The only person requiring belief or faith is you. Faith that at some point in the future evidence WILL emerge to validate your hypothesis.

    My points are the same things they have been through this entire discussion.

    Your god is a god of the gaps.
    Your telepathy follows a similar model.
    Your assertion that absence of evidence is never evidence of absence is wrong.

    And this is why I question your reading comprehension on a routine basis.

    Actually, it was in your comprehension. Go back, re-read the post, and explain why you think those comments refer specifically to that post rather than, for example, your position in general.

    Your position requires the blind faith that at some point in the future, evidence will emerger supporting the hypothesis.
    The alternative position is that the hypothesis should be discarded and considered false unless evidence emerges in the future supporting it.

    Which do you honestly think requires less belief? There's only one position that requires blind faith and it's yours.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

    We all have had dreams that contain many details. Yet, there is no way to prove these details, in a scientific way, because science does not have the tools to make this possible. Even if we all have had such dreams, and each of us can empathize with dreams detail due to our own experiences, there is no scientific proof that detail is real. Science has investigation limitations when it comes to areas of consciousness.

    The scientific method was designed to factor out subjectivity, so what is left would be objective reality. But the very things science designed itself to factor out, became the very things it was not designed to properly investigate. Dream details, is not subject to investigation and therefore, based on its own philosophy, cannot be proven by science. Science would need an update in its protocol to get past this; same technology. God appears to be in that same gray area of investigation blind spot, like dream details, which are not reproducible or directly observable by technology.

    If I wanted to investigate dream details, an example, you can't do it from the outside since technology is not there. You would need to do this from the inside (self observation) since the power of observation can work even on the inside. Faith is often connected to personal internal observations, at some level beyond the limits of science, thereby providing internal verification.

    I did unconscious mind research many years back. I recognized science can't see many things with technology. But I also recognized these things can be observed in the first person such as by becoming conscious in dreams and record them in great detail. If the goal was the proof of God, this is the path you need to take since external observation does not have the tools and tends to assume a false negative.
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Indeed, absence of evidence is actually quite a damning piece of evidence if one predicts that the evidence should be there.

    If I claim that there is a large ant in a matchbox, then the absence of evidence (I.e. no sign of the ant in the matchbox) is fairly conclusive evidence that the claim was incorrect.
    However, if someone says that there is a large invisible and undetectable ant in the box then one would not expect to see evidence, and so the absence of evidence when you open the box is no evidence of absence.

    When you do this with god, and the properties of god etc, then where you would expect to see evidence and there is none, this is evidence of absence (but depending on the strength it may not be sufficient to convince). Eg the Greek gods who lived on mt. Olympus. Since they were not to be found there, this is evidence of absence. But one could merely claim that they moved... so it may not be strong evidence.
    If god is supposedly the explanation for X, Y and Z, and we then find mundane explanations for them, this is evidence of absence - but again it may not be strong evidence.
    But if you believe in a god that does not interact with the universe, no scriptures, no authority handed down etc, then there is no expectation of evidence, and thus the absence of evidence is not considered evidence of absence... In this case because the god is absent by definition.

    In science this evidence of absence is strongly linked to the notion of "falsifiability", which all scientific theories must have as a property. In science it is the lack of evidence where evidence is expected that can lead one to conclude that the theory has been falsified.
  15. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member


    Correct. An 'Ant of the gaps', so to speak.

    Correct - you will note that I have studiously avoided discussing my opinion on any of these matters, or, for that matter the strength of any evidence (or lack there of).

    Correct and at every step of the way I have acknowledged this kind of outcome with my language by saying that an "Absence of evidence can be..." or by tying it to caveats regarding predictions. At no point have I made the blanket claim that it should always be accepted as such. A point seemingly lost on my interloqutor.

  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Here's another reason: How are you going to discover anything new if you don't explore what hasn't already been explored.

    Consider: How do we know that R.E.M sleep is when a person is most receptive to telepathy during sleep if nobody has explored receptivity during other periods of sleep? Sure, it might sound like a reasonable assumption, but how are we going to know that unless we question it?

    Consider, for example, the various well known phenomena that occur during non-REM sleep - Night terrors, for example. It could be that the reason why these experiments provide such weak evidence is because they're missing the most sensitive part of sleep. You'll never know unless you explore them, and the best way to explore them is using the protocol I suggested. It arguably has added robustness because it can be used to test multiple hypotheses and may indicate a way to design more sensitive experiments.

    But what do I know.
  17. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Trippy,
    This I expect. I would "lol", however I think ignoring the probabilities in these types of experiments is sad, and not laughable. Without 100% repeatability nothing is certain, so bonus points to all the skeptics who reason away the results as chance or poor judging.

    However; it will keep many safe in their beliefs.

    NOTE: Belief only until (and if) telepathy can be disproved (which like Russell's Teapot is impossible).

    I had no problem with the "Random Awakening" experiment you first proposed, and was surprised when you thought I was insulting your method by stating how they actually did it. I would agree this would be a better approach if it was not a dream study. If it was a psychic study not aimed at dreaming then yes, you could aim it wherever you like.

  18. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    The difference is there is no objective reality to a dream, they aren't real.
    If there was a God, he should be able to provide a person with information that the person would have no way of knowing otherwise. Then it shouldn't matter if the evidence was within their subjective conscious experience, we could verify it externally.
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Since you're concerned with scientific discovery, rather than a theory that can be falsified, statistics is actually rather important in establishing the discovery - as per the search for the Higgs(-like) boson that reached 5-sigma level of certainty.

    So you're finally equating telepathy to Russell's Teapot.
    A brave first step, kwhilborn.
    But you believe in the existence of telepathy, right?
    So what leaf are you brewing in the teapot?
  20. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Sarkus,
    This was not the first comparison to Russells teapot, as this started the main debate between Trippy and I. It is good analogy for establishing a belief only. You can base a belief on the idea that it would seem absurd that a floating teapot in space did exist, but a teapot could exist in space nonetheless and cannot be disproved.

    Glad to see your idea about needing random people to calculate random chance did not deter you from further participation in the discussion.
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    And your continued inability to understand the point made makes me remember the futility of further discussion with you.
    There again I do have a short memory.
    And I'll be generous and assume it's not a deliberate inability on your part.
  22. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    Yet I doubt many here even know what The Ganzfeld experiment consists of. This is just another sample of Skeptics ignoring probabilities. I do not even think these experiments are as impressive as the Dream studies, but when compared with random chance (possibly calculated by asking random people) in labs worldwide still produce positive results.

    I feel sorry for those who have not been able to experience telepathy or PSI. There must be some experimentation available to you with friends or family. Try it. Repeated successful outcomes (beyond statistical average) are more convincing than what you will read.

    We must be connected by something. For mass even to attract mass there must be something that connects us. Science calls it Ether, or Einstein calls it a New Ether or simply space, but it must be something.
  23. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    You're not in a position to LOL, you lack the credibility and the only thing demonstrated by you doing so would be your ignorance.

    Bull. In every instance an absence of evidence can be considered evidence of absence - for example, if a hypothesis makes a prediction the lack of evidence for that prediction can be considered evidence disproving the hypothesis.

    This leaves me wondering if you've talen in anything that has been said by myself and others.

    You're still to busy reacting and trying to infer my personal position to adress the points being raised and this post is a classic example. You've cherry picked two words out of my post, reacted emotionally to it and seemingly haven't bothered readxing the rest of it.

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