The problem of proving, that there is no proof

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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby sepia » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:10 pm

I've lost the overview. Why is it important, what you belief?
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:48 pm

It helps me figure out what to wear in the morning.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby mm2k » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:31 am

You do not need to prove the nonexistence of all possible gods to call yourself an atheist. It is trivial to prove the non-existence of any specific god anyone can come up with - as easy as it is to prove the non-existance of Santa Clause, the tooth fairy or unicorns. They simply cannot exist in the reality in which we find ourselves (the word is 'absurd').
The reason the "god of the gaps" argument fails, is because this leaves open the possibility of the existence of an infinite number of unknowable gods. This in itself destroys the meaning of the word 'god'. The possibility of correctly worshipping one (or any finite group) of god/s becomes zero, and so the certainty with which we know that there is no god worth worshiping is 100%.
Since this leaves no uncertainty at all, no-one has to call themselves agnostics or agnostic atheists ever again.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby sepia » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:26 pm

mm2k wrote:as easy as it is to prove the non-existance of Santa Clause, the tooth fairy or unicorns.

If there were people arguing ad hoc that Santa Clause use magic and so on there is no way to disprobe him. But there is no way to disprove eighter the wizzard, who knows that Santa doesn't exist. :mrgreen:
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:25 am

mm2k said:

The possibility of correctly worshipping one (or any finite group) of god/s becomes zero, and so the certainty with which we know that there is no god worth worshiping is 100%.

Here is your argument:

There are an infinite number of possible gods.

If there is an actual god(s) among the possible ones, it is impossible (the possibility is 0) to "correctly worship" it.

Therefore: There is no god worth worshiping.

This says nothing about whether or not a god(s) is real an exists in reality. In fact, your argument ALLOWS for the existence of a god to be real. The above is simply a poor expression of agnostic atheism:

"If a god existed, I would have no way to know it. So who cares?" <= Me in 6th grade. Time to grow up.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby mm2k » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:23 am

No, I never said that there's any possible gods. I said that people that say that I cannot disprove all possible gods, leave themselves open by implying an infinity of possible gods - which makes the argument meaningless.
Also, you misunderstand the meaning of the word 'zero'. It means 'none'. There are no gods. My argument allows for the existence of absolutely no gods at all.
It seems to me; I'm sure you will correct me; that so called 'agnostic atheists' are still harbouring some hope that a god might still reveal itself to them - that the possibility of the existence of a god is still somehow non-zero. They somehow failed to complete the 'grow up' process. They've made the journey, but fail to take the final step over the finishing line.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:10 pm

6th grade math doesn't cut it in this discussion. Go study up on what infinity means and what approaching zero means Grammar, and then we'll talk

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limit_of_a_function
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:37 am

Lausten:

Go study up on what infinity means and what approaching zero means Grammar, and then we'll talk

HAHAHA. Your assumptions about my mathematical knowledge are funny.

mm2k:

Also, you misunderstand the meaning of the word 'zero'.

This is odd, but I'm excited to see the reason for this accusation.

It means 'none'.

Oooooooooooohhhhhhh! Is that what zero means? and here I was thinking it meant "at least some" =).

There are no gods. My argument allows for the existence of absolutely no gods at all.

Let's try this again using your words and the sane person's understanding of those words:

"The possibility of correctly worshiping one (or any finite group) of god/s becomes zero..."

Let's start there. You are asserting that the possibility/probability of "CORRECTLY WORSHIPING" a god is/becomes zero (Dear Lausten: I was not contesting his mathematics (which are, as stated, baseless), I was contesting the validity of his argument). What does YOUR (or ANY person's) ability to "correctly worship" a deity have anything at all to do with whether or not that deity is real? Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with it. It is irrelevant.

You are NOT asserting that the probability or possibility of a god's existence becomes zero. You probably wanted to, but you didn't do it THERE.

"... and so the certainty with which we know that there is no god worth worshiping is 100%"

In no way, as you presented your argument, does an improbability of accurate worship logically lead to a certainty that no god exists worth worshiping. This argument says nothing about a deity's existence. It only speaks to whether or not, if a deity exists at all, if we should bother with trying to worship it. It doesn't even do that well.

It seems to me; I'm sure you will correct me; that so called 'agnostic atheists' are still harbouring some hope that a god might still reveal itself to them...

Of course I will correct you when you are plain wrong. I very seriously doubt that most if not all agnostic atheists "hope" for any sort of revelation.

"...that the possibility of the existence of a god is still somehow non-zero."

This is the definition of agnostic atheism. The probability IS non-zero.

They somehow failed to complete the 'grow up' process.

I don't think that most agnostic-atheists have failed to grow up, but I do think that you have certainly failed in that respect.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:16 am

It only speaks to whether or not, if a deity exists at all, if we should bother with trying to worship it.

There's an implication to this argument that I would like to state directly. It implies the possibility that some god exists and every human throughout history has had no experience of it, has never come close to hearing from it. That is the coolest god ever.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby mm2k » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:48 am

I should not have unnecessarily complicated the issue of the existence of gods with the equally improbable possibility of gaining their favour. I concede that while I do not see the point of religions that don't seek favour from their gods, it remains a possibility, and should not be included in the discussion at hand.
Regardless, trying to create for yourself an infinitesimal gap in which to hide your god, simply proves my point. Why try and hide a god there if you are not going to try and gain its favour? Why do you have the need to hold onto this non-existent possibility of gods existing?
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:41 pm

Lausten:

There's an implication to this argument that I would like to state directly.

Go ahead, but please remember it is mm2k's argument. I am critiquing his argument AGAINST the existence of a god. What you are about to say about it demonstrates its weakness, and supports my claim that HIS argument leaves open the possibility of a god while claiming that it does the opposite.

It implies the possibility that some god exists

Which is what I said in the first place about mm2k's argument.

...and every human throughout history has had no experience of it, has never come close to hearing from it.

Haha, mm2k's argument, even if it were true, comes no where close to implying this. All his argument does is attempt to argue that if a god existed at all, it is impossible to figure out how to correctly worship it. That says absolutely nothing about personal experience or "hearing from it". Certainly, you can imagine a human being having an "experience" of a god, and still have no idea how to worship it. Certainly you can imagine a conversation between a god and a human being having nothing to do with correct worship. If you can imagine these things at the same time as accepting mm2k's argument, then the argument does not imply what you say it does.

That is the coolest god ever.

Your sarcasm is the one of the few things you have correctly utilized. A god that mm2k's argument allows the possibility of is a rather uninteresting one...and the god(s) it argues against are equally uninteresting.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:49 pm

mm2k:

I should not have unnecessarily complicated the issue of the existence of gods with the equally improbable possibility of gaining their favour. I concede that while I do not see the point of religions that don't seek favour from their gods, it remains a possibility, and should not be included in the discussion at hand.

I respect your willingness to admit your error/complication.

Regardless, trying to create for yourself an infinitesimal gap in which to hide your god, simply proves my point.

Please understand: I am not trying to create that gap for myself as if I were worried you almost disproved the existence of god. I am simply pointing to the logical problems with your argument. My theism does not hang on that "gap" in your argument. However, your "strong" atheism seems to.

Why try and hide a god there if you are not going to try and gain its favour?

Ha. Do you think all religions that worship a deity are only trying to gain its favor?

Why do you have the need to hold onto this non-existent possibility of gods existing?

1) I don't have the need to hold on to any possibility of a god existing because that a god exists is an actuality (despite your "argument" to the contrary).

2) A non-existent possibility is, literally, nothing. You might wish to reword that.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby Lausten » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:26 pm

Grammar wrote:I don't have the need to hold on to any possibility of a god existing because that a god exists is an actuality (despite your "argument" to the contrary).

Okay, I guess I missed something. You have been going on for weeks about a mathematical proof that demonstrates a possibility of god existing. This is the first time I have noticed a statement "that a god exists is an actuality". Those are really two different discussions. amIright? I know I'm getting old, but I seem to remember several times that you have made statements about it not mattering if god exists for the purpose of this discussion, or that we shouldn't imply anything about what you think about god.

Well, it does matter. Be honest. Be open. It makes for better discussions.
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby GrammarOfAssent » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:13 pm

Lausten:

I know I'm getting old, but I seem to remember several times that you have made statements about it not mattering if god exists for the purpose of this discussion, or that we shouldn't imply anything about what you think about god.

You remember correctly. What I think about the existence of god has nothing to do with the logical problems contained in mm2k's argument and your contributions to that discussion. If I claim that a god exists and he has a purple pig tail with a giant green cowboy hat, it will not make mm2k's argument more or less valid.

You have been going on for weeks about a mathematical proof that demonstrates a possibility of god existing.

Where have I gone on in this way? Can you cite my words regarding a mathematical proof?

I began a post in "believer's backlash" about an argument from a book about god's existence (which is not a mathematical one). I have not added to it due to lack of time. It take much less time to make a response like this one than it does to take a detailed argument from a book and present a condensed version for your analysis. Also, I am not sure anyone here is even ready to hear the argument. If the above argument presented by mm2k seemed in any way to be a valid or sound one, then I doubt any argument I present can be objectively and rationally considered.

Well, it does matter. Be honest. Be open. It makes for better discussions.

I have been nothing but honest and open. Neither of which requires me to do whatever you ask.

I know it is frustrating
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Re: The problem of proving, that there is no proof

Postby mm2k » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:31 am

I'm new here and still feeling my way around. I found this forum after listening to the brilliant show "Atheist Experience", to which I was recently intruduced by my brother-in-law. When I joined this discussion I was hoping for more than ad hominum attacks by boring, irrational theists.
So my curiosity remains. Why is it that many atheists, which have made the (sometimes painful) decision, to reject all known gods, fail to also reject all unknown gods? If this was about anything else, such a position would seem insane. It's like saying that I know red, green and blue unicorns don't exist, but you cannot prove that yellow ones don't.
What is it that agnostic atheists don't know? Here it seems to me that there is a larger spectrum of disbelief than merely gnostic/agnostic, such that agnostics might say one of:
(1) I do not know if God exists.
(2) I do not know if some gods exist.
(3) I do not know if all gods exist.
While 'gnostic' atheists might say:
(4) I know that God does not exist.
(5) I know that some gods don't exist.
(6) I know that all gods don't exist.
Where are you in this spectrum? And why? Why hold onto this vestigial religion at all? Use Occam's razor, slice it of and discard it, as it should be.
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