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Author Topic: Elliquian Atheists  (Read 35547 times)

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Offline LilyS

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #700 on: March 29, 2013, 12:11:40 AM »
Yeah... know why I accept the big bang?



I think you've made a pretty good point with that science works and is based on empirical studies. When / if it doesn't work they look into it and try to modify the things that went wrong.

The key is that it's can change as everything develops. It can be falsificated because it relies on testable hypothesizes. When it's wrong they throw it out. Simple..

But religion can't be falsificated. X thing happens = God planned it this way. X thing doesn't happen = God didn't want it to be this way. And that explains everything.
Plus the the things they insist on telling oh so often can't seem to work (eg. praying helps to cure diseases, there was an actual study about it ) and  it didn't work. And that's the point when most religious people start saying things about faith and that it doesn't work like science,that's why it's faith.

I think instead of that, the emphasis should be on why can't it pass systematic and repeated testing?

When someone believes something is true..shouldn't they be happy that it can be tested and proven?

(I'd like to get an answer to those questions ..so if you have ideas please share them with me. )

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #701 on: March 29, 2013, 12:27:45 AM »
I think you've made a pretty good point with that science works and is based on empirical studies. When / if it doesn't work they look into it and try to modify the things that went wrong.

The key is that it's can change as everything develops. It can be falsificated because it relies on testable hypothesizes. When it's wrong they throw it out. Simple..

But religion can't be falsificated. X thing happens = God planned it this way. X thing doesn't happen = God didn't want it to be this way. And that explains everything.
Plus the the things they insist on telling oh so often can't seem to work (eg. praying helps to cure diseases, there was an actual study about it ) and  it didn't work. And that's the point when most religious people start saying things about faith and that it doesn't work like science,that's why it's faith.

I think instead of that, the emphasis should be on why can't it pass systematic and repeated testing?

When someone believes something is true..shouldn't they be happy that it can be tested and proven?

(I'd like to get an answer to those questions ..so if you have ideas please share them with me. )

Coming from a roman catholic background, to test god is to lack faith - which is very bad.  Its an offence against god. Faith  ( believing and trusting god blindly) is highly praised in many x-tain circles. When you ask a logical question that invalidates the religion, you get a defensive, manipulative answer or red herring.  I don't think this is always intentional.

I think this illustration explains much of the dilemma that smart religious folks face:









Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #702 on: March 29, 2013, 01:20:29 AM »
Part of the problem here is a misunderstanding about the capabilities of science.  A testable hypothesis has to be written before an experiment can be done.  Currently there is no hypothesis to prove or disporve the existance of God.  An experiment also requires the ability to take measurements or perform observations.  Currently there are not tools to measure the presence or lack of presence for a divine being.  Divinity in and of itself is a concept yet to be defined by science, so there is no true way to take measurements.  God has yet to be quantified or observed in such a way that an experiment could be performed.  There simply is no way to experiment on the concept of God and so no way for science to even say that there is proof or disproof.  Science does not operate on the idea of the abscence of proof is disproval of a concept.  Many concepts and theories have later been proven once the proper instruments were crafted and the proper experiments designed to test for a certain thing.

So the answer to your question is that science, at its current state and possessing the current level of technology, cannot make a claim either way.  Regardless of whether religious people want to do an experiment to prove God's existance, there simply isn't one to be had.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #703 on: March 29, 2013, 02:19:59 AM »
So... if I'm reading you correctly, your argument is "These concepts are too vague and ill-defined to even be considered, therefore there's no proof that they're wrong"? That seems like... rather poor reasoning. Technically correct, but only in the most useless sense.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 02:21:15 AM by Ephiral »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #704 on: March 29, 2013, 02:33:13 AM »
No, I am saying there is no proper hypothesis or method in which to test God.  Therefore science cannot rule out God.  That is sort of a basic scientific principle.   Things which are not testable are not immediately discounted by science, they are simply listed as untestable.  Cannot be proven but cannot be disproven.  As I said, there are many things which fall into that category. Recognizing the limits of the instruments at our disposal is simply good science.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #705 on: March 29, 2013, 06:23:10 AM »
We can't test Rhubarb either. Guess that means we can't rule him out him.

Can't disprove The Ghost That Never Lies either. Do you accept him because he can't be tested?

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #706 on: March 29, 2013, 07:37:03 AM »
No, I am saying there is no proper hypothesis or method in which to test God.  Therefore science cannot rule out God.  That is sort of a basic scientific principle.   Things which are not testable are not immediately discounted by science, they are simply listed as untestable.  Cannot be proven but cannot be disproven.  As I said, there are many things which fall into that category. Recognizing the limits of the instruments at our disposal is simply good science.

And this is how religion likes to slip by; special pleading. "My God exists! He just happens to not talk to you, not make himself known and made himself magically unable to be tested by any known means of testing. This is totally reasonable compared to your Magic Pink Invisible Unseeable Shoulder Unicorn. Isn't it better you believe, just incase he's real?"

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #707 on: March 29, 2013, 08:26:10 AM »
I am sorry if science is not the perfect answer you had desired.  I see no reason for the belittling presented against religion because science has limitations.  Technology takes time and so does research.  Just because something cannot be disproven does not mean that the thing must be accepted either.  There will be people that believe in theories and explanations and those that do not within any scientific community.  Recently the Higgs Boson particle was discovered and confirmed.  Only recently was the technology able to adequately measure and observe the particle.  Did people believe the particle existed before this?  Certainly.  There were also those unconvinced.  There are also many theories within physics, biology, chemistry, behavioral sciences and economics that are untestable currently.  Until recently the theories of relativity were held up as a standard and then slowly taken down or redone as better measurements and experiments were performed.  Science evolves and continues to discover, but there are limits based on technology and experimental design. 

Perhaps one day there will be a “God experiment” but today is not that day.  God did not slip by any more than other theories and explanations that had to wait until the tools and theories were in place to test them. 

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #708 on: March 29, 2013, 08:33:44 AM »
You have to present a hypothesis before it can even be tested, let alone falsified or confirmed. When you present something more solid then 'God just exists', then maybe we can talk about experimentation, but we can't test something that hasn't been properly proposed.

Just because we haven't the tools or knowledge right now to test Rhubarb doesn't mean he's not there, right?

Offline LilyS

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #709 on: March 29, 2013, 09:36:13 AM »
Coming from a roman catholic background, to test god is to lack faith - which is very bad.  Its an offence against god. Faith  ( believing and trusting god blindly) is highly praised in many x-tain circles. When you ask a logical question that invalidates the religion, you get a defensive, manipulative answer or red herring.  I don't think this is always intentional.

I think this illustration explains much of the dilemma that smart religious folks face:



Yes, this is the point I don't understand. (As in can't comprehend)
When something is not testable because the rule is that it's forbidden why don't people start wondering that..'it might be false that's why I can't doubt it'.
And why do they live their life according to some rules that are difficult to keep and some of them are surely against their desires when they can't know for sure that what's written is true and they have to rely on blind faith? What is good in blind faith?

And it leads to another question. It seems that some of the religious people tend to selectively follow the rules that are written in the Bible. So some parts of it are valid (eg. 10 commandments, that's mentioned most of the time) but other parts (eg. when a woman cheats on her husband she should be killed ) are usually ignored. How is that possible? And the same thing with interpreting the Bible with symbolism or without. How could people decide which part is written in symbols?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #710 on: March 29, 2013, 09:39:41 AM »
The question Sabby seems to be getting at here: Before we get to "Science can't disprove it!", first we need to get past "Why should we consider it over any other hypothesis with zero supporting data?". This strikes me as a pretty big hurdle. Assuming you can get past that, then there's the question of whether or not you can even define the hypothesis you're talking about. Exactly how would the world be different if God existed vs if God did not exist?

Yes, this is the point I don't understand. (As in can't comprehend)
When something is not testable because the rule is that it's forbidden why don't people start wondering that..'it might be false that's why I can't doubt it'.
And why do they live their life according to some rules that are difficult to keep and some of them are surely against their desires when they can't know for sure that what's written is true and they have to rely on blind faith? What is good in blind faith?

A significant number of them do. A lot of people come to atheism from religion for this very reason.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 09:41:24 AM by Ephiral »

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #711 on: March 29, 2013, 09:44:13 AM »
first we need to get past "Why should we consider it over any other hypothesis with zero supporting data?"

Rhubarb explains everything. Why would you test another God? What does the Christian God have over the God of The Church of the Starduck? The book of Quackenations clearly states how He created the universe and how he guides so called random events to steer reality towards one glorious unity. The Church of the Starduck has as much proof as the Catholic religion, so why not test Rhubarb as well?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #712 on: March 29, 2013, 11:04:39 AM »
Rhubarb explains everything. Why would you test another God? What does the Christian God have over the God of The Church of the Starduck? The book of Quackenations clearly states how He created the universe and how he guides so called random events to steer reality towards one glorious unity. The Church of the Starduck has as much proof as the Catholic religion, so why not test Rhubarb as well?
That was pretty much my point. Why does any of these zero-evidence hypotheses merit enough time and attention to test at all?

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #713 on: March 29, 2013, 11:13:41 AM »
Oh, I wasn't disagreeing, I was providing an example of what you were saying :3 If we establish there is currently zero evidence for God and we are simply waiting on the tools and knowledge to make testing possible (ignoring the non-hypothesis we are made to work with) then say the day comes when we make a machine that can examine new kinds of matter and planes of existence we were previously incapable of viewing. There is now some huge bucket list of scientific phenomena, a Gold Rush of things and we don't know what to do with it all.

If and when that were to happen, we still don't have something to test. Even if every branch of a specific theology across the world could convene and make a consistent list of what they wanted checked out (doubt that would happen) we'd still have no reason to do their tests over any other theology that has gotten together a consistent list of "Here's What God Might Be". For one to demand their own list be held above another is Special Pleading plain and simple.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #714 on: March 29, 2013, 12:35:30 PM »
I think my favourite quote, forget who by, sums this up quite well.

"Claims made without evidence can be dismissed just as easily without evidence."

Unless you've got some proof that there is any existance of the Great Giant Duck in the Sky, then I'm completely able to brush it off with equal lack of evidence. As it currently stands, Harry Potter and Spiderman have equal amounts of evidence for the existance of Hogwarts and the Green Goblin as the Bible does for God and miracles. I mean, you can't -prove- there's not a giant castle in Scotland filled with ghosts and wizards, protected by Muggle confunding charms and warms, can you?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 12:41:32 PM by Vanity Evolved »

Offline Saria

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #715 on: March 29, 2013, 12:40:09 PM »
Claiming that gods are not in contradiction with science just because science can't test them is disingenuous, and silly, and clueless about the way science works.

To hear the apologist describe it, scientists just sit around all day throwing out random hypotheses, then figuring which ones they can test. That's absurd. That's like trying to trying to build a 747 by sending a tornado through a scrap yard. Oh, wait, that's how they think evolution works. ::)

The part the apologist always misses is the part where the hypothesis gets generated in the first place. They don't just get pulled out of scientist's asses. Observations are made that need explaining, and the hypotheses are offered explanations. But before you even get to the part where you start asking if the hypothesis is testable or not, you start stripping away the hypotheses that either a) don't explain the observations properly or b) require unnecessary complexity to explain the observations. This is Occam's Razor.

So a scientist observes that every time an object is unsupported, it falls toward the ground. Whether it just rolls off a table or it has been thrown up into the air, eventually it is going to fall to the ground unless something holds it up. That's her observation. So she wonders what causes that, and starts throwing out hypotheses. Maybe there's some force that pulls everything toward the Earth. Or maybe there are trillions of invisible fairies who zip around and push every object that is in the air down to the ground. These two hypotheses are not equal, because the first hypothesis only has a single unknown element - what is the mysterious force - while the second hypothesis has countless unknown elements: what are the fairies, where did they come form, why they're invisible, how they're invisible, why do they push objects down, how do they never fail to push objects down, how do they manage to always push objects down at the same rate, etc. etc. So the scientist discards the fairy theory, and does tests to determine the existence and nature of this mysterious force. That's how science works.

Treating the "god hypothesis" as if it's a hypothesis at all - merely one that is currently untestable - is a bit of a joke. There are absolutely no observations that justify it at all, and there probably never can be, because a god is so absurdly complex (theologists have been trying to describe gods for thousands of years, and their descriptions are still incoherent) that there will probably always be a simpler explanation. Gods are in contradiction with science, because they involve a claim about the universe that, from the point of view of science, should not even be made in the first place - not merely a claim that can be made but not tested.

So the next time some apologist comes along and says, "oh, science doesn't rule out gods - it merely can't test for them yet," just give them a smile and a pat on the head for being so adorably clueless. Gods are not "untestable hypotheses" in science; they're not even hypotheses.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #716 on: March 29, 2013, 12:46:19 PM »
Unless you've got some proof that there is any existance of the Great Giant Duck in the Sky

Space Duck. Rhubarb created the sky on the 72nd Day of The Great First Flop. If your going to insult my Religion, at least get your basic information correct :P

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #717 on: March 29, 2013, 12:49:35 PM »
Space Duck. Rhubarb created the sky on the 72nd Day of The Great First Flop. If your going to insult my Religion, at least get your basic information correct :P

Sorry, but I think you'll find you're working on a flawed interpretation of Quack 3, Flap 1. When the book says 'Created', it didn't mean in the literal sense; it was a parable. My Fifth Church of the Reformed Pondduck Cucumber believes that he actually made it on the 54th day, while the 'create' part was some holdover from a saint of quackhood who wasn't a true Duckian.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #718 on: March 29, 2013, 12:52:14 PM »
No, Day 1 was a declaration that creation was in effect, but 2 to 61 were all days of rest, because Rhubarb was tired from his declaration. So you're clearly the one misinterpreting.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #719 on: March 29, 2013, 12:54:22 PM »
The part the apologist always misses is the part where the hypothesis gets generated in the first place. They don't just get pulled out of scientist's asses. Observations are made that need explaining, and the hypotheses are offered explanations. But before you even get to the part where you start asking if the hypothesis is testable or not, you start stripping away the hypotheses that either a) don't explain the observations properly or b) require unnecessary complexity to explain the observations. This is Occam's Razor.
This is what I was getting at when I referred to "zero-evidence hypotheses". Before a hypothesis is even formulated, there needs to be some phenomenon in the real world that makes it worthy of consideration. Which brings us back to "How is no-God world different from God world?".

I'm really tempted to expand on your Occam's Razor point, too, but I don't think anybody wants a lecture on Kolmogorov right now.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #720 on: March 29, 2013, 01:24:16 PM »
Things being scientific is unavoidable nowadays. Everyone would panic if suddenly pharmacies would hand out untested medication without a side effect list and efficiency rates that can be checked. Being operated by a doctor who doesn't know exactly what to do with the organ to stop failing would be scary, no? Nobody would travel with cars that were made designed by people who never studied physics. It covers just about every single aspect of our everyday lives and its secret that it actually works, every gadget and machine you use is a solid proof of it and gets better and better.

As opposed to religion science can change when it's proved wrong. And it can be proved wrong, that's the only way of development after all.

This.  So much this.

Offline LilyS

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #721 on: March 29, 2013, 01:24:36 PM »
This is what I was getting at when I referred to "zero-evidence hypotheses". Before a hypothesis is even formulated, there needs to be some phenomenon in the real world that makes it worthy of consideration. Which brings us back to "How is no-God world different from God world?".

I'm really tempted to expand on your Occam's Razor point, too, but I don't think anybody wants a lecture on Kolmogorov right now.

Please, I'd be happy to hear. I see that name too often nowadays :)

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #722 on: March 29, 2013, 02:03:00 PM »
...okay, by "people don't want", I think I meant "my brain is not entirely up to". Short and sweet layman's version: Kolmogorov complexity is a formal way of measuring exactly how complex a proposition is: it's a measure of how many bits the shortest program possible that gives your idea as its output would be in some specific language. (Your results are, of course, going to vary depending on the language chosen, but relative complexity between multiple strings should remain pretty much the same as long as you apply every test with the same language.) Minimum message length is closely-related and superior in that it explicitly doesn't depend on programming languages - the fact that I didn't think of it first is probably a good indicator of how I shouldn't be going into more depth right now.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #723 on: March 29, 2013, 02:04:49 PM »
Yes, that's why religions don't work, there is a god who hears and knows people's thoughts and sets out punishments to the people who don't follow the rules then sends them to heaven or hell depending on their behavior.
Just about every other attempt to explain why things happen is more more rationale.

Theologists are incoherent because what they have no weight at all. Again, the same problem. I can safely say that Jesus is Homoiusion or Homousionbecause none of the options can be proved and most likely both are false.

Things being scientific is unavoidable nowadays. Everyone would panic if suddenly pharmacies would hand out untested medication without a side effect list and efficiency rates that can be checked. Being operated by a doctor who doesn't know exactly what to do with the organ to stop failing would be scary, no? Nobody would travel with cars that were made by people who never studied physics. It covers just about every single aspect of our everyday lives and its secret that it actually works, every gadget and machine you use is a solid proof of it and gets better and better.
 As opposed to religion science can change when it's proved wrong. And it can be proved wrong, that's the only way of development after all.

Probably a lot of things contradict the current state of science, or at least people believe so. Then why don't they hand in papers with detailed methodology and their results instead of saying obscure things that nobody can prove ? If what they believe is right then it must work.  There is nothing to lose, they might get a Nobel if they find something big.

You'll notice that, for the amount of Christians with 'true belief', there's a distinct lack of people who believe in solely praying for their loved ones to be cured of cancer (the cancer God gave them), and that faith healing is very often a last resort, not a primary resort.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #724 on: March 29, 2013, 02:08:46 PM »
You'll notice that, for the amount of Christians with 'true belief', there's a distinct lack of people who believe in solely praying for their loved ones to be cured of cancer (the cancer God gave them), and that faith healing is very often a last resort, not a primary resort.
I've long suspected that this is because belief-in-belief is far more common than actual belief.