Customer Discussions > Christianity forum

Never mind proof... how about some evidence?


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 15, 2012 7:51:23 AM PDT
I am an atheist because of what I see as being a lack of credible evidence for the existence of Deities.

What does "objective evidence" mean? It means facts derived from observations which can be independently verified, preferably via multiple people using multiple methods. Given this, purely philosophical arguments do not in any way qualify.

So, if you believe that a Deity exists, and believe there is evidence you can present, I urge you to do so.

You have my word that any response I post on this thread will be respectful... but, alas, I can't control what anyone else says, or how they say it.

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 8:23:14 AM PDT
Hmm....keeping in mind that criteria though, I'm not sure there is any 'evidence' that you could accept for the existence of Deity because almost by definition, the Deity as supernatural, personal Being, is beyond Nature, thus beyond the principles of repeatable empirical experimentation. All accepted and/or purported revelations from beyond Nature, are incapable of being analyzed without philosophical reason. That's one reason why faith is (or should be) understood primarily as a relationship of trust. But thanks for initiating the conversation.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 8:26:51 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 27, 2012 8:42:16 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 9:03:43 AM PDT
"... because almost by definition, the Deity as supernatural, personal Being, is beyond Nature, thus beyond the principles of repeatable empirical experimentation."

If you would, I'd like to start with this bit:

You say "almost by definition"... I'd say *exactly* by definition!

We have a concept (actually, a very, *very* large collection of different ones... but more on that in some other post) called "God". We assign to that concept a set of attributes. In this case, you say:

* supernatural
* personal
* Being
* beyond Nature
* beyond the principles of repeatable empirical experimentation

OK... *why those attributes*? What is the justification for assigning that particular set of attributes to the concept "God"?

And, just as important: what do those attributes actually *mean*?

For instance, the concept of "the supernatural":

It seems to me that the concept of "the supernatural" shares much with a concept I've come up with: "ubernorth", defined as "that point five feet north of the North Pole." It's a concept I can easily articulate... and one that does not, *can not* map to actual reality.

When we observe reality via our senses, we do so via our sense organs. They translate light, or sound, or pressure, or molecules into patterns of neural activity. We note the patterns in that activity, and infer the characteristics of reality from them.

So, how would we infer the "supernatural"? We'd use our *natural* sense organs, to observe the phenomena in *nature*, phenomena which we examine via their effects on our *natural* sense organs, effects which are directly or indirectly caused by those phenomena.

So, if we *can* observe it, how could it be anything but natural... by definition?

And, if we *can't* observe it, in any way, no matter how indirectly, then how could we ever know it actually existed?

Thus, I don't see how it is any more possible for the supernatural to exist than it is possible for "ubernorth" to exist.

The problem with so-called "philosophical reason" is that its only requirement is that its logic exhibit internal consistency. This, however, leaves it free to be based on any initial assumptions one cares to use, supporting pretty much any conclusions one cares to reach.

Contrast this with, say, physics, where if your conclusion contradicts experiment, then your conclusion is wrong. Period. End of discussion. Physics tests itself against reality. Philosophical reason, so far as I can tell, has no such tests.

"That's one reason why faith is (or should be) understood primarily as a relationship of trust."

How is this anything other than pure belief, belief which has no restriction as to its relationship to actual reality?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:21:36 AM PDT
Nothing that you haven't been presented with already, Mike.

If God is immaterial and you continue to demand material evidence, you're sure to continue to get what you expect.

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 11:41:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 15, 2012 11:43:07 AM PDT
I'm posting a truncated reply, because I may fall asleep (graveyard shifts do a number on your circadian cycles, especially when you only have them once a week) ..I will reply to your thoughtful reply to my post, but it may take a bit. I have spotty internet connection during the week. So, I'm not ignoring you, I'm just not able to access.

On the other hand....
Firstly, to invert the question a bit, what would you accept as an example "credible evidence for the existence of Deities"? Or are we at the point of having to end this particular conversation because of the need to step back from this question until we can agree on what it is we're talking about? Honestly, we may be at that point already. since even working on an agreed definition of "acceptable evidence", not to mention "nature", "supernatural" and "reality" is to take up philosophical reasoning, which you said in your initial post does not qualify as an answer

*Part of our problem lies, I think, in a disagreement over "nature", "reality" in the definition of "Nature" and "naturalism" that we're using. On the other hand, it may be that you view "reality" and "nature" as being equivalent. 'ontological naturalism' in which case there really is no way to proceed, since for such a view, 'supernaturalism' is logically and ontologically an impossibility, so we find ourselves with nothing to say to one another, as there is no agreement about the possibility of there being anything beyond "Nature" or the "natural world"

maybe we need to start a new thread about the relation of nature, reality and supernaturalism, and come back to this one when/if we have an agreement. (Incidentally, have you read C.S. Lewis's "Mircales"?)

But again, thanks for initiating the conversation,

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:42:10 AM PDT
look around

where do you think all the stuff came from ?

just popped out of nothingness by magic
or what

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:44:35 AM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
a:'where do you think all the stuff came from ?'

Fallacy of Argument From Personal Incredulity. Thank you for showing that willful ignorance = religious belief.

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing There's the actual answer, sparky. Try LEARNING something for a change...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:45:11 AM PDT
"Nothing that you haven't been presented with already, Mike."

This isn't a substantive answer to my question... just an assertion. It is especially lacking in merit given that you don't know what I have or have not been presented with... all that you know of me comes from a few posts on an online forum.

"If God is immaterial and you continue to demand material evidence, you're sure to continue to get what you expect."

Actually, I don't "demand material evidence", but rather ask for objective evidence... and I gave a definition as to what I would consider to be objective evidence in my first post.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:47:46 AM PDT
boolsheet

the universe could not self create itself from nohtingness
no matter how hard you cross your fingers and squish your eyes shut and wish it could be so

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:49:00 AM PDT
"Firstly, to invert the question a bit, what would you accept as an example "credible evidence for the existence of Deities"? "

Well, that would all depend on how you define "Deity", but what I would like is evidence which can be corroborated, preferably via multiple people / groups using multiple techniques, evidence which doesn't depend on my starting out with the assumption that Deities exist.

We don't have a problem agreeing on, for instance, the speed of light, or the charge to mass ratio of an electron, or on the degree to which time slows down when velocity increases to relativistic speeds.

We can test our assertions by comparing what our models predict we'll observe against what we actually do observe.

So... where is the model for God? Where are the tests which compare what the model says we'll observe against what we actually do observe?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:50:28 AM PDT
As far as I'm concerned, the concept of "the supernatural" is one which does not map to a phenomena or class of phenomenas which actually do or actually could exist, as we derive our knowledge of reality from observations of the natural world, via our natural sense organs. So, if we can observe a phenomena, then, by definition, that phenomena is affecting the natural world, thus making it part of reality, aka "nature".

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:50:33 AM PDT
Michael Altarriba,

You say you see a lack of "credible evidence", but this appears to imply that you do not lack "evidence", it just does not meet your subjective criterion of what is "credible". What is credible to one person is not credible to another person.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:51:42 AM PDT
andthehorse...

I have you on "Ignore"... and, having seen the content of your post, I believe I will continue that policy, and continue to decline to respond to or read your posts.

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 11:53:05 AM PDT
And as for ScoopingCatLitter, I won't even read the post you appear to have made, nor any other of your posts. Given our past interactions, and the interactions I have observed you having with others, I have concluded that interacting with you would not be a good use of my time or attention.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:56:31 AM PDT
Sarah says:
and: the universe could not self create itself from nohtingness

S but God could create himself from nothingness?

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 11:57:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 15, 2012 11:59:18 AM PDT
Readers of this thread,

Please pay attention to how Michael Altarriba is not serious about having discussions on this issue. You will notice that Michael will go around to different threads and bring up "evidence" or "credible evidence". He appears to believe that he has no right to believe in something unless it has "evidence". But Michael Altarriba holds to beliefs with no evidence at all, and when he is questioned on these beliefs that he holds, he puts someone on ignore. For example, I once asked him the simple question of showing evidence for his belief in mind-independent things, without assuming them to begin with, and he could not do it. This appears to show that Michael is a hypocrite and is not worth talking to. He will only believe in evidence that supports his preconceived beliefs, which he happens to say that many other theists do as well. I guess the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. You will notice that he brings up "credible evidence" instead of just plain old "evidence". I think I prefer evidence over any other adjective, because those other adjective must meet the basic requirement of evidence.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:58:53 AM PDT
"and: the universe could not self create itself from nohtingness"

Yeah, about that: A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 11:59:02 AM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
a:'the universe could not self create itself from nohtingness'

-That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.-

'no matter how hard you cross your fingers and squish your eyes shut and wish it could be so'

<Projection>

-If the Universe needs a creator, why doesn't god?
If god doesn't need a creator, why does the Universe ?-

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 12:03:22 PM PDT
Again, not ignoring you, but cant answer right now, except to say that although, you are correct that as embodied persons everything we can know about What Is There comes through our (empirical) senses, it must also be filtered through our (rational) mental states.

I think I have a more limited conception of 'nature' than you do, though. as I can fit the supernatural into my conception of reality. But, I take pages from apophatic theology, easier to say what God (and the supernatural) is NOT, as opposed to what He IS

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 12:04:58 PM PDT
-That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.-

I love you.

(Okay, not really.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 12:06:15 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
C:'I love you.'

:-) The actual love for that saying belongs with it's originator, Christopher Hitchens. I merely use what he made for us all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 12:10:51 PM PDT
"-If the Universe needs a creator, why doesn't god?
If god doesn't need a creator, why does the Universe ?-"

the universe needs a creator because every thing requires a cause..that cause is either in itself or beyond/outside itself. For the universe the cause is outside itself, for God the cause is inside Himself- making Him Self-Existant Being.

We say the cause of the universe is outside of the universe (the universe did not cause the universe to exist) -we can identify a time when the universe began to be, so it must have a cause that it is not itself. We say that God is the cause of His own existence, which admittedly is a little difficult to wrap our minds around.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 12:16:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 15, 2012 12:17:46 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
MHL:'the universe needs a creator because every thing requires a cause'

So, what was the cause for your god ? You seem to miss the point; even you DON'T believe that -everything- needs a cause, because you claim that your god DOESN'T.

Well, the Universe exists, we have evidence that it does. No one can truthfully say the same for any deity.

'We say that God'

Yes, you can SAY so. But, in reality, claims made MUST be supported by actual evidence. Your claim fails that basic truth test.

The rest of your babble is without meaning, and without knowledge. Try physics, and learn something real.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 12:17:34 PM PDT
"We say that God is the cause of His own existence, which admittedly is a little difficult to wrap our minds around."

Where is the evidence that this entity you call God exists, and has the attributes you believe it to have?

I'm not saying you are wrong... I'm saying you have yet to give me any good reason to conclude that you are right.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 75 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  69
Total posts:  1868
Initial post:  Jul 15, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 27, 2012

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 3 customers

Search Customer Discussions