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Go to: Refuting supernatural

jay29's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by jay29

Science cannot determine whether God exists or not. Why? Because one cannot specify, even in principle, an experiment whereby His existence/non-existence could be determined.

... So far no belief in God has been shown to be the result of God actually existing. If there were such evidence to back beliefs then it would not be necessary for theologians to come up with ontological arguments - they would not have to try and bootstrap God into reality using logical arguments as against arguments from evidence.

The unwarranted (and unevidenced) assertion here being that theologians only advance ontological arguments because there are no evidence-based arguments. Evidence for this claim please. And presumably we can dismiss your claim as "irrational" unless you can actually furnish the evidence.

In fact, one simple experiment we can do to see if God actually exists is to wait and see if after a thousand years theologians are still having to resort to ontological arguments. If they are, then this is solid evidence that no actual evidence for the existence of God has been uncovered by eager believers.

I'm afraid that this would not constitute a valid scientific experiment or any sort of valid investigation since you have not been able to demonstrate that the only reason that theologians advance ontological arguments is because other arguments are unavailable. Please provide evidence for this unsupported assertion.

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 23:44:29 UTC | #949141

Go to: Refuting supernatural

jay29's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by jay29

Comment 15, Steve Zara,

Brilliantly put. People who believe in ghosts, Holy or otherwise, don't do logic.

I'm afraid they do. Godel, Frege and Plantinga would be just three counterexamples to this claim.

Especially those who think they do, such as William Lane Craig!

Well, Craig has thrashed numerous atheist opponents in debate.He seems to be a very astute logician. Lets not forget that Richard Dawkins has declined to debate with him. Why exactly is that in your opinion?

Some things are impossible by definition, 'like the sound of one hand clapping'. Because religious people's definition of impossible is different,

?? Please state the theistic definition of the impossible and contrast it with the atheistic one if you are able. And you'll need to back it up with some textual evidence (i.e. actual quotations from theist/atheist philosophers). I'll wager you will not be able to provide any such evidence.

We weigh evidence in order to find the facts. Evidence can be disputed, or it can be laughable out of court, like the tomb trick. I'm quite sure that crop circles, although they exist, are made by drunk farmers and stoned students.

I agree that this is highly likely.

They are not evidence of the existence of aliens.

Again, I agree.

This is because we know how some of them were done, and there is no difference between some of those and the 'mysterious' ones.

'God' is the hidden premise used to justify His existence.

This makes no sense: since the word "God" does not state a proposition how can it be a premise, hidden or otherwise?

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 23:15:17 UTC | #949140

Go to: Refuting supernatural

jay29's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by jay29

Science cannot determine whether God exists or not. Why? Because one cannot specify, even in principle, an experiment whereby His existence/non-existence could be determined.

Plenty of hypothetico-deductive analyses have undermined at least some forms of the god hypothesis,

Please provide an example.

& science undermines any unevidenced hypothesis even if only some versions of it are falsifiable, because of the epistemic obligations in tow.

Again, please provide an example.

Many (perhaps even a majority) of mathematicians adhere to such mathematical Platonism.

While I'd be interested to know what the percentage is, what case is there for such a belief?

You could start by looking at a Wikepedia entry on mathematical Platonism.

I’m not clear what you are saying here, but in any case that does not matter since I have (above) provided a demonstration that your claim that (“that a claim is unevidenced is a reason why to believe it is irrational") is, on your criterion, itself irrational and therefor ought not to be believed.

You claim A&B implies a contradiction,

Huh? Where do I say that? Please provide an exact quotation. I explained very precisely how your claim was self-undermining without making any such reference.

A sound argument (i.e. one which has true premises and is deductively valid) would “warrant” a conclusion; such arguments are truth preserving.

That's a subspecies of evidence. I imagine you won't claim beliefs are only rational if achieved by that method,

Indeed not.

since you think you've already proven beliefs can be rational even if not achievable from my, broader method.

If you wish to claim that a belief is irrational, you will need to provide a definition of "irrational" and demonstrate by means

What "broader method"? Please outline your method in a concise statement and provide some examples of "irrational" beliefs. You also need to provide a definition of "irrational" .

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 22:48:13 UTC | #949135

Go to: Refuting supernatural

jay29's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by jay29

Jos Gibson writes: Please start writing multi-responses as single posts; racking up our post number leads us to start new pages unnecessarily soon, harming navigation.

I have no problem with this request as the number of responses is indeed increasing at an alarming rate- soon it will be more than I have time for.

Science clearly does have limits in the sense that there are matters which it cannot investigate.

Why is that clear? Give an example of something it clearly can't investigate & say why that's clearly so.

Well, I gave an example already: science cannot determine whether God exists or not. Why? Because one cannot specify, even in principle, an experiment whereby His existence/non-existence could be determined.

Which things that don't exist in spacetime do you nonetheless contend exist?

One example would be mathematical entities such as numbers. Many (perhaps even a majority) of mathematicians adhere to such mathematical Platonism.

his claim is clearly self-undermining. To see why consider the (your) claim "that a claim is unevidenced is a reason why to believe it is irrational" Now since there is no evidence for this claim on your own account it is irrational and we ought not to believe it!

I wish you'd stop saying "clearly"; it doesn't add to your case, but it does mean your case needs to prove more, since "X is clearly true" is stronger than "X is true". Anyway, I can give evidence it's irrational to believe that which is unevidenced; by definition evidence for X is a route by which the truth of X leads to its acceptance, so to believe that which is unevidenced is to believe without the belief's truth (if any) being the cause of that belief, which means there's no indication the belief is true. But by definition, a belief is a belief about what is true, making it irrational to have a belief without an indication that it is true. (In this case, the reason that argument counts as evidence for its conclusion is because it is the route by which the conclusion was reached, in which the conclusion's truth led to its being deduced. Thus, sound arguments are by definition evidence for their conclusions.)

I’m not clear what you are saying here, but in any case that does not matter since I have (above) provided a demonstration that your claim that (“that a claim is unevidenced is a reason why to believe it is irrational") is, on your criterion, itself irrational and therefor ought not to be believed.

Look: are you going to discuss specific examples of supernatural claims you entertain or not? This is the whole point I was making in my first post on this thread; anyone who entertains the supernatural entertains some specific supernatural thing, which they're wrong to do if that specific thing isn't suitably evidenced - so let's jump into that discussion right away. Of course, you've already said you don't accept that evidence is needed to get conclusions. What pray tell would warrant a conclusion?!

A sound argument (i.e. one which has true premises and is deductively valid) would “warrant” a conclusion; such arguments are truth preserving.

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 20:52:51 UTC | #949110

Go to: Refuting supernatural

jay29's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by jay29

Jos Gibbons that a claim is unevidenced is... a reason why to believe it is irrational, and hence the source of an obligation of all not to believe it.

This claim is clearly self-undermining. To see why consider the (your) claim "that a claim is unevidenced is a reason why to believe it is irrational" Now since there is no evidence for this claim on your own account it is irrational and we ought not to believe it!

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 18:35:45 UTC | #949090

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