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God Became a Mirage
#31
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: As far as I am aware the only generalisation one can make about atheists is that they don't believe in a god or gods.
No, I think that's the only non generalisation.

No, all that being an atheist means is that you don't believe in god or gods ... EVERYTHING else is negotiable.

(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: That depends ... yes that is true for a theist but not as true for a religionist (someone who adopts a specific religion).
Theists are limited by interpretation and peer review.

Some theists maybe and all (without exception) do not put their religious belief through an acceptable formalised system of peer review.

(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: I'd put money on them not being as accurate as you think they are.
Well mine take the form of me living moments in dreams. I remember sights, sounds, smells, feelings.. Re-living them is like stopping into the movie.. I sometimes realise and have an almost 3rd person perspective watching the events repeat in front of me. Sometimes I'm not so sharp. Sometimes the event will be a long time after the dream, sometimes a very short time after. It's easy to dismiss familiar surroundings but not so unknown ones. I've not really found any use for these dreams.

OK, so you maintain you have predictive dreams. Care to test that claim? Make a prediction ... something that is beyond the normal ability of humans to rationally anticipate future events.

(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: So your god is part of the universe?
No, he/she/it's outside it.

OK, let's deal with that idea shall we? The following is an answer I wrote many years ago when I edited an online publication called the " UK Atheist & Science E-Zine":

Quote:Does God Exist?
By
The Editor: UK Atheist & Science E-Zine

Introduction

Despite the fact that there is no evidence to support their existence many that make the claim that a god or gods exist ... for the remainder of this article such phenomena will all be referred to as God or god. In the case of Christianity, Judaism (Jehovah) or Islam (Allah) and, indeed, many other religions the god in question is an all powerful, divine force or entity that "created" or "is" or "contains" the universe and/or watches over it and/or permeates every aspect of our lives.

Discussion
To my knowledge there are no reliable instances of God being seen, heard, touched or smelt nor is it possible to design an experiment to test for its existence or non-existence. Available evidence at least implies that men wrote whatever religious scriptures currently exist and there is no evidence to indicate that a god or gods were involved in any way. In other words there is no physical or naturalistic evidence to support the existence of God/deity.

The accepted method of investigation (science) is to propose a clearly stated hypothesis and to support that hypothesis with evidence and reasoned logical deductions based upon the same. That is how science works and is the method by which humans have discovered things about our surroundings since we were able to reason. It is also understood that if a hypothesis does not "fit" in any way with other knowledge already accepted about our universe, if it cannot be supported by evidence and it cannot provide information about our universe previously unknown then it is assumed to have no value and is dismissed.

Given the above (and the statement in the second paragraph) I can draw the following assumptions to test or discuss:

  1. God is claimed to be an all powerful, divine entity, force or effect that watches over us and permeates every aspect of our lives.
  2. There exists no empirical (measurable physical or naturalistic) evidence to support the claimed existence of God that cannot be interpreted (or potentially so) in a different fashion.
  3. There are no reliable or verifiable instances of God being seen, heard, touched, smelt, tasted or otherwise observed.
  4. It is not possible to design an experiment to prove or disprove God's existence.
  5. Humans (it would seem) physically wrote whatever scriptures or other written material supporting the claimed actuality of God and there is no evidence to indicate the direct or indirect involvement of God.

On the basis that it is the supporters of the existence of a god or gods that are proposing the hypothesis that such a creator deity exists and that the natural human method of investigation results in the dismissal of untenable hypotheses then it is not unreasonable to request that the following be provided.

  1. Hard scientific evidence to support the claimed existence of whatever god or gods are being claimed to exist.
  2. Given that such evidence can, potentially at least, be provided an experiment designed to prove the existence of whatever god or gods are being claimed to exist and an indication of what kind of data would be required to disprove the existence of the same.
  3. Demonstrable evidence that whatever scriptures support the existence of the claimed god or gods were not (as is reasonably assumed) written and designed purely by men or women without divine involvement.

The universe may be defined as "the sum of all that exists" or "the physical system that is potentially observable" and, for the purpose of this discussion at least, can be considered fully interchangeable with the term "natural universe". Science is an ongoing attempt to explain the universe and in this respect has explained or is attempting to explain all that is observable. Whilst individual scientists are not always above reproach science, as a global force, is tentative in nature, cannot always consider its knowledge to be absolute & correct but is self-correcting in nature and therefore represents our best current understanding of the universe.

To be brutal God must be one of three states:
  • God exists
  • God does not exist or
  • God existed once but does not anymore (dead).

Though it is of academic interest if there once was a god but it exists no more it is beyond the scope of this discussion and typically theists do not claim this to be so. With that in mind I move on to the first two possibilities i.e. that God either exists or does not.

If God exists within the universe then it either is/will be observable, either directly or indirectly, by science or it exists outside of the universe. If all observable aspects of God exist outside of the universe then it is, by definition, supernatural and can have no impact on the universe or anything within it and, as such, science can safely discard it. If God is not supernatural then it, some part of it or something directly attributable to it must be observable in which case it is not supernatural but entirely or partially explainable.

If God is (in principle) entirely or partially explainable then it is not, by definition, supernatural but natural i.e. a part of the universe. If God exists wholly outside of the universe then there can be no observable evidence to support it's existence and no one has any reason to believe in it let alone try to convince others that God exists. If God exists within some gap in our scientific understanding of the universe then it is not only due to one day to be explained (such gaps will not remain open forever) but is also shrinking in size as our knowledge increases.

Logically therefore God must be one of the following:
  • Everywhere
  • Part of the explained universe
  • Part of the unexplained universe
  • Non-existent

God cannot exist within the parts of the universe we have explained ... if so God would have been explained (partially or wholly) and would therefore already be a part of the natural and explained universe. For the same reason God cannot be everywhere, for if it were it would be possible to observe and test some parts of it. If it is a part of the universe that we have not explained then it must be a "god of the gaps" i.e. it exists somewhere in the gaps of knowledge we have so far failed to explain. If, as pointed out above, that is true then every time we discover something new this "god of the gaps" gets a little smaller.

The final option is that God does not exist ... this needs no justification, no proof, no evidence.

Conclusion
It is evident that, if God exists and affects us, God must exist within the confines of our universe; by definition the universe is everything that is observable and can be considered a boundary across which information does not flow. If God does exist in our universe then God must be observable. Also if God was not observable then God cannot observe us. If God is not observable then it is impossible for anyone to have experienced the presence of God, so if God is unobservable then God cannot exist and anyone who ever claimed to have experienced god (personally or otherwise) has merely experienced a delusion.

There is no validatable evidence (that cannot be more reasonably interpreted) to support the existence of God so it is hard to see why any reasoning human being should consider that one should exist since our entire investment in knowledge (by which I refer to those things we "know" or have discovered about our universe) is based on empirical data. With that in mind and with specific (& somewhat cynical) reference to claims of a "god/gods of the gaps (which presumably is where God must exist in the absence of any other evidence) it must follow that at one point that god was potentially huge but nowadays is getting somewhat smaller ... indeed one imagines that the sceptic should be careful lest he tread on the apologetic's "god of the gaps" without realising it.

Richard Dawkins wrote "It is often said that although there is no positive evidence for the existence of God, nor is there evidence against his existence. So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?"

References
  • E-mail discussions with Iron Cestus.

So where's your god again?

Kyu
Angry Atheism
Where those who are hacked off with the stupidity of irrational belief can vent their feelings!
Come over to the dark side, we have cookies!

Kyuuketsuki, AngryAtheism Owner & Administrator
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#32
RE: God Became a Mirage
Excellent post (and article) Kyu.
Reply
#33
RE: God Became a Mirage
Sounds a lot like 'God: The Failed Hypothesis'. We don't have to test god directly we can test for the effects of god, if he acted he would have to leave something behind, an outlier in data that only applies to one religious group for example. I think we have a word for this, hmm, right! Evidence.

Nice article mate.
http://ca.youtube.com/user/DemonAuraProductions - Check out my videos if you have spare time.
Agnostic
Atheist
I Evolved!
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#34
RE: God Became a Mirage
If God existed he would have an effect on the universe...never mind creating it in the first place...so testing him would be within the boundaries of science - if not in practice then at least in principle.

As Dawkins says (to paraphrase): God is an existence claim...and existence claims mean scientific claims. Science studies existence.

And if God did not create - and does not have any effect on - the universe....then how is he God or how exactly does he exist anyway? If he can't even effect anything? What we are talking about wouldn't really be God if he not only wasn't intervening but he didn't create the universe in the first place....and he doesn't even exist in a physical sense either..

God is supposed to be a supernatural creator... creating the universe and intervening with it means he's within the field of science...

Even if he doesn't exist as 'part' of the universe and he's 'outside it' - if he has and/or had any effect on it whatsoever...he's still within the realms of science...

How could he be outside the universe anyway? If he created it and the universe came from him...then wouldn't he and the universe be part of the same thing? Therefore he would STILL even then also be part of the universe and his existence is still in the realm of science...?

Even if he is 'outside of' the universe...

But even if he's outside of the universe and his existence is not part of it so he's not within the field of science - if he has ANY effect on the universe and/or EVER did....(and he must do if he's God and he created it, never mind all the supposed intervening!) then he is effecting the natural universe and is part of the scientific field of study therefore.

EvF
Reply
#35
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: No, he/she/it's outside it.

I don't think that's possible. It's necessary to maintain an idea of God that we Christians see God, but to say something is "outside" the universe is to adopt magical thinking. There can be no "outside" of the universe. That's called an absurdity (really it is, I'm not saying you're absurd in a derogatory way, that's what an impossible conclusion is called).

And to be fair, the idea of the universe having a beginning is also absurd. The Big Bang may be many things, but it wasn't the beginning of the universe.
Reply
#36
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 24, 2009 at 5:57 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: As far as I am aware the only generalisation one can make about atheists is that they don't believe in a god or gods.
No, I think that's the only non generalisation.

No, all that being an atheist means is that you don't believe in god or gods ... EVERYTHING else is negotiable.
That's what I said

(March 24, 2009 at 5:57 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: That depends ... yes that is true for a theist but not as true for a religionist (someone who adopts a specific religion).
Theists are limited by interpretation and peer review.

Some theists maybe and all (without exception) do not put their religious belief through an acceptable formalised system of peer review.
I don't accept YOUR acceptable system.

You would ask a group of non scientists to be a peer review group for science? Of course you wouldn't. that would be ridiculous. Apply the same logic to your statement please.

(March 24, 2009 at 5:57 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: I'd put money on them not being as accurate as you think they are.
Well mine take the form of me living moments in dreams. I remember sights, sounds, smells, feelings.. Re-living them is like stopping into the movie.. I sometimes realise and have an almost 3rd person perspective watching the events repeat in front of me. Sometimes I'm not so sharp. Sometimes the event will be a long time after the dream, sometimes a very short time after. It's easy to dismiss familiar surroundings but not so unknown ones. I've not really found any use for these dreams.

OK, so you maintain you have predictive dreams. Care to test that claim? Make a prediction ... something that is beyond the normal ability of humans to rationally anticipate future events.
I have absolutely no control over these dreams. Like I said, these dreams are all personal. It's not like a plane is going to crash or anything external to my personal experience. That's just how it is.

(March 24, 2009 at 5:57 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: So your god is part of the universe?
No, he/she/it's outside it.

OK, let's deal with that idea shall we? The following is an answer I wrote many years ago when I edited an online publication called the " UK Atheist & Science E-Zine": <snip>
So where's your god again?
Like I said above, it's ridiculous to evaluate something using the completely wrong tool. Your foundational premise is flawed.

Quote:If all observable aspects of God exist outside of the universe then it is, by definition, supernatural and can have no impact on the universe or anything within it and, as such, science can safely discard it.
This doesn't follow. If God is supernatural or outside this universe, why can't he interact with this universe?

Why should God's nature and our nature be mutually exclusive? Our nature can't detect his so therefore his nature can't detect ours. That sounds like playground logic. ???

Science meets it's end point, our nature. To theorise outside this limitation is beyond science. Science fails.

Fail. Try again.
Reply
#37
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I like Edward's opinion because I see some uniqueness in it, and some evidence of personal thought and progression of thought leading to conclusions.

Thanks, fr0d0. I like your opinions, too.
Reply
#38
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 24, 2009 at 3:32 pm)Edward Wrote:
(March 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: No, he/she/it's outside it.

I don't think that's possible. It's necessary to maintain an idea of God that we Christians see God, but to say something is "outside" the universe is to adopt magical thinking. There can be no "outside" of the universe. That's called an absurdity (really it is, I'm not saying you're absurd in a derogatory way, that's what an impossible conclusion is called).

And to be fair, the idea of the universe having a beginning is also absurd. The Big Bang may be many things, but it wasn't the beginning of the universe.
Yet this is exactly what the Bible tells us, fellow Christian.

God is other dimensional.

I don't agree with literal translation of Genesis. I like your idea of no beginning. I think it has mileage.
(March 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm)EvidenceVsFaith Wrote: If God existed he would have an effect on the universe...never mind creating it in the first place...so testing him would be within the boundaries of science - if not in practice then at least in principle.
God creating the universe could be evidence of his existence. That's the claim.

(March 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm)EvidenceVsFaith Wrote: And if God did not create - and does not have any effect on - the universe....then how is he God or how exactly does he exist anyway? If he can't even effect anything? What we are talking about wouldn't really be God if he not only wasn't intervening but he didn't create the universe in the first place....and he doesn't even exist in a physical sense either..
It's all a non question isn't it

(March 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm)EvidenceVsFaith Wrote: God is supposed to be a supernatural creator... creating the universe and intervening with it means he's within the field of science...
Intervening in it would suggest effect yes. Like I'm postulating elsewhere, the nature of that intervention is it's non provability.

(March 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm)EvidenceVsFaith Wrote: Even if he doesn't exist as 'part' of the universe and he's 'outside it' - if he has and/or had any effect on it whatsoever...he's still within the realms of science...
Science beyond our understanding maybe. Is that even a sensible suggestion though?

(March 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm)EvidenceVsFaith Wrote: How could he be outside the universe anyway? If he created it and the universe came from him...then wouldn't he and the universe be part of the same thing? Therefore he would STILL even then also be part of the universe and his existence is still in the realm of science...?
It seems to follow that because God created the universe, he is both outside it and able to be in it too. It is inferior to him. The two aren't equal. (just thinking this through here with you)

(March 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm)EvidenceVsFaith Wrote: Even if he is 'outside of' the universe...

But even if he's outside of the universe and his existence is not part of it so he's not within the field of science - if he has ANY effect on the universe and/or EVER did....(and he must do if he's God and he created it, never mind all the supposed intervening!) then he is effecting the natural universe and is part of the scientific field of study therefore.
I don't think it follows that he would be detectable. Scientific study of everything known and unknown is all study of God's handiwork. Ultimately indistinguishable to us because to us it's all natural.
Reply
#39
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 24, 2009 at 5:57 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: No, all that being an atheist means is that you don't believe in god or gods ... EVERYTHING else is negotiable.
That's what I said

Maybe you should try saying it clearer?

(March 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 24, 2009 at 5:57 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: Some theists maybe and all (without exception) do not put their religious belief through an acceptable formalised system of peer review.
I don't accept YOUR acceptable system.

You would ask a group of non scientists to be a peer review group for science? Of course you wouldn't. that would be ridiculous. Apply the same logic to your statement please.

OK ... let me try and explain peer review to you.

Science fully supports the critical examination of all scientific theories (even the want to be one) all the time. This is done via a process called "peer review" which ALL that scientific papers must go through before they are published and is performed (and often administered) by scientists with relevant qualifications and a great deal of experience. This process is does not (as some would us believe) hobble the search for knowledge but in fact opens up the whole of modern natural philosophy to all of the scientists all of the time. By the very act of publishing ones work others are made aware of it and a given generalisation is brought into an arena where it can be tested by them. Peer-review is essentially a formalised version of scientific challenge and the difference that process makes is immense ... everything every scientist does (or group of scientists do) is checked (peer-reviewed) by others. That doesn't mean mistakes can't happen, frauds can't be perpetrated but it does mean that such mistakes (purposeful or otherwise) will one day, almost certainly, be uncovered and reversed and also ensures that the research that does get published is of a high standard and represents our best current understanding of the phenomena being discussed. Some people are fond of highlighting what they see as the mistakes of science (creationists, for instance, are fond of pointing out examples such as Piltdown man, Nebraska Man and others) but in reality such examples are more notable for the fact that scientists (not those related to the critics) later uncovered the fraud or flaw and can thus be seen as an example of science doing exactly what science should ... self-correcting. It is also the reason why pseudo-scientific material does not tend to get published in reputable scientific journals ... it simply isn't of a high enough standard and pseudo-scientists typically prefer to appeal to like minded theistic individuals and to "common sense" style reasoning in the general population. Though such critics claim otherwise the real reason their material doesn't get published in reputable scientific journals is because if they attempted to do so their claims would be ripped to shreds so quickly that it would hardly have been worth applying their twisted reasoning to paper. The reason that pseudo-science "theories" do not typically appear in scientific literature is for the very same reason that astrology, parapsychology, ghosts, the lost of Atlantis, little green men in flying saucers and other similar crackpot "theories" don't appear.

OK ... there are other aspects to it but that's essentially how scientific peer-review journals work, by making all of science open to all of science ALL the time and it does this through thousands upon thousands of scientific journals such as the more general ones, "Science" & "Nature" and countless numbers of other more specialised ones such as:

AUTONOMIC NEUROSCIENCE-BASIC & CLINICAL
AUSTRALASIAN JOURNAL OF ECOTOXICOLOGY
ACS CHEMICAL BIOLOGY

Now please note those are just three of 558 journals listen under the Biological Abstracts for, now pay attention please, the letter A ... can you envisage just how many more there are ... I'm talking serious, scientific journals.

Now please, if you would be so good, describe to me these claimed religious peer-reviewed journals you refer to, please explain the process by which they are peer-reviewed, please explain how it all fits in with a set of varied cults all of whom are basically at philosophical war with each other (inasmuch as all of them believe themselves to be the chosen religion and none of them believe the others are). Please explain this to me.

(March 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 24, 2009 at 5:57 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: OK, so you maintain you have predictive dreams. Care to test that claim? Make a prediction ... something that is beyond the normal ability of humans to rationally anticipate future events.
I have absolutely no control over these dreams. Like I said, these dreams are all personal. It's not like a plane is going to crash or anything external to my personal experience. That's just how it is.

In other word, not to put too fine a point on it, you're bullshitting! Just like any other supernatural flake you simply reinterpret your dream rubbish to become something else AFTER THE FACT.

I thought as much.

(March 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 24, 2009 at 5:57 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: So where's your god again?
Like I said above, it's ridiculous to evaluate something using the completely wrong tool. Your foundational premise is flawed.

In other words, "Oh no it isn't [sticks fingers in ears] La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la!"

Colour me impressed ... oh, I'm sorry ... I'm not, not in the slightest!

(March 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm)fr0d0 Wrote:
(March 24, 2009 at 5:57 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote: If all observable aspects of God exist outside of the universe then it is, by definition, supernatural and can have no impact on the universe or anything within it and, as such, science can safely discard it.
This doesn't follow. If God is supernatural or outside this universe, why can't he interact with this universe?

Because, if that universe is everything that can be observed (potentially or otherwise) and it is by definition, no information can pass across the boundary of that universe.

(March 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: Why should God's nature and our nature be mutually exclusive? Our nature can't detect his so therefore his nature can't detect ours. That sounds like playground logic. ???

ROFLMFAO ... will you just take a step back and look at yourself? I'm using playground logic? You're deluded!

(March 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: Science meets it's end point, our nature. To theorise outside this limitation is beyond science. Science fails.

Science has never been established to have any limits except by current levels of technology and the ability to resolve finely enough ... whi the hell do you think you are, Michael Behe?

(March 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: Fail. Try again.

You have some nerve to post crap like you just did and then tell me I failed ... sorry but you're an idiot if you think that.

Kyu
Angry Atheism
Where those who are hacked off with the stupidity of irrational belief can vent their feelings!
Come over to the dark side, we have cookies!

Kyuuketsuki, AngryAtheism Owner & Administrator
Reply
#40
RE: God Became a Mirage
I'll give you time to think about an actual response Kyu.
Reply



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