Why There Is No God

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cranky47's picture
@cognostic I think you may

@cognostic

I think you may not have quite grasped the meaning of the word unfalsifiable (see below)

Perhaps also a problem with the difference between 'evidence' and 'proof'

That a thing is unfalsifiable means it cannot be proved as true YET. This is the caveat in all scientific claims ;We know X to be true/false BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE EVIDENCE . (see below)

To claim a thing to be true because it WILL be proved is simply a claim, not an argument.

Absence of evidence IS evidence of absence. What it is not, is proof. Evidence is simply anything produced in support of a claim.

Right now, there is no proof of sentient alien life. That absence of proof does NOT prove such beings do not exist . Personally, I think it';s more likely than not than sentient alien life exists.

The text book answer to your claim of the absence of proof is Russell's Teapot. From Bertram Russell, accepted as one the great philosophers of the twentieth century. (see below)

Having hopefully corrected your confused understandings, I will not argue with you further on this topic. OF COURSE you have every right to continue to insist on your personal interpretations. All that means is that you will not have the credibility you might want.

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Definition of unfalsifiable
: not capable of being proved false
unfalsifiable hypotheses
Examples of unfalsifiable in a Sentence
Recent Examples on the Web
On the Hebrew Scriptures, there is hardly any external evidence to support the various theories of their origins, and so the theories are mostly unfalsifiable.
— Barton Swaim, WSJ, "‘A History of the Bible’ Review: Scripture Under Scrutiny," 9 July 2019
Claims about large-scale censorship are basically unfalsifiable, and none of the tech companies invited even showed up.
— Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Congress’ social media censorship hearing was a complete disaster," 26 Apr. 2018

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfalsifiable

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"Russell's teapot is an analogy, formulated by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting the burden of disproof to others.

Russell specifically applied his analogy in the context of religion.[1] He wrote that if he were to assert, without offering proof, that a teapot, too small to be seen by telescopes, orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, he could not expect anyone to believe him solely because his assertion could not be proven wrong.

Russell's teapot is still invoked in discussions concerning the existence of God, and has had influence in various fields and media."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

qilin's picture
My wife gave me the book, and

My wife gave me the book, and I like the logics in the 20 Arguments - it is stronger IMO than Hitchen*s 'God is not great', which is more fun to read - as I wrote in my review 'Why there is no cause for theism' would fit better, but that wouldn't be such an eye-catcher… ;)

Kevin Levites's picture
I read the ebook, which is

I read the ebook, which is what pointed me toward Atheist Republic.

I found it to be very informative, but I do agree with some of the posters in this thread.....absence of evidence is not neccesarily evidence of absence.

As Isaac Asimov pointed out in his brilliant essay "The Judo Argument" in his book "The Planet that Wasn't", it is entirely possible that God exists....even if there is no neccesity for that existence as the Universe is what it is, and our Universe is not required to conform to human prejudices and expectations.

Despite this qualifier, it's a respected principle of argument that it's the burden of the claimant to provide evidence and proof, not the responsibility of the audience to disprove an assertion.

As an aside, I found it intensely interesting that some of the most famous, outspoken atheists and agnostics (including the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as a moderator, of all people) getting together in a public forum to examine some new findings in astrophysics that seem to indicate the existence of God.....at least in the sense that the entire Cosmos may be a computer simulation in a greater reality.

Quarks seem to follow some of the exact same rules as a bit of information in a computer program, and physicists have found what may be error-correcting software "written" within the mathematics of string theory. See below:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.amnh.or...

The people in this debate were not fringe weirdos who wear aluminum foil hats.

It was held at The Museum of Natural History in New York, was hosted and moderated by a hero of mine (Neil deGrasse Tyson), and featured a panel of experts on computer technology, mathematics, astrophysics, and philosophy.

The thought that the Universe is a computer simulation seems to roughly agree with the idea of God.....although I suspect that most deeply religious people would be horribly offended by this idea.

In any case, this panel was held on April 5, 2016, at the Museum of Natural History, and can be watched on Youtube for free.

qilin's picture
Thanks for the link +

Thanks for the link + transcript - I'm better in reading than listening to English - the computer simulation thing reminded me of a story by Stanislaw Lem, one of my favorite SF writers (and atheist philosopher - btw he used to have TV discussions with Karol Wojtyła, later pope John Paul II), where a widely advanced technological species has planted a self developing and self sustaining AI on their moon, which in thousands of years fills up the entire satellite and still works after the builders have died out. Without input or possible output it sees itself as limitless in space and time, and starts to simulate all kinds of universes including 'men' in some, mainly to gain a view of itself from the outside. In it's musings it is most similar to the christian god in the bible...
In German the title of the story is 'Diary', but I doubt if there is an English translation.

Cognostic's picture
I'd like to know how someone

I'd like to know how someone can write a book called "There is no God" and not fill it full of fallacious comments and strawmanning. It's probably worth the read if it is done well; however, I imagine a book full of Strawman God arguments, not worth my time reading, that are then debunked. (God as the first cause. The God of design. The argument from morality. Idiotic Arguments from Contingency. and more) A waste of time....

Kevin Levites's picture
(directed at Cognostic)

(directed at Cognostic)

I agree that there are fallaceous and stawman arguments . . . but this is precisely why the book is important.

In the U.S., the religious leaders hold parts of this country captive in an iron grip of superstition, religion, and spiritual paranoia that impedes things like higher education, open-mindedness, and the intelligent criticism of authority.

If more people (especially here in my country) understood things like what a strawman argument is, or knew how to distinguish between wishful thinking and objective facts . . . then we would be in a much better place.

Kevin Levites's picture
In fact--while we're talking

In fact--while we're talking about books--Chris Hedges (a devout, intensely Christian minister) wrote an excellent book that would probably be of interest to everyone in Atheist Republic:

He cautions us that religious extremism isn't neccesarily confined to Islam (or any other faith), and that the America of the future could be a Christian Iran or Saudi Arabia.

It's well worth a read

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Kevin Levites's picture
(to qilin)

(to qilin)

Was this story one of Lem's Ijon Tichy stories?

qilin's picture
No - it starts with 20 pages

No - it starts with 20 pages musings of the computer, and only the last two are sort of matter-of-fact commentary how the data were found and deciphered.

Kevin Levites's picture
Cool. Too bad that there isn

Cool. Too bad that there isn't a translation.

I am an avid science fiction fan (as well as writing it professionally), so I'll keep an eye out in case a translation pops up.

I did enjoy Lem's Solaris.

qilin's picture
So did I - and there are two

So did I - and there are two film versions, one by Tarkowski, one by Soderbergh, but I don't remember details.
You're writing SF? That's interesting - what's you pen name? My favorites are Lem, Cordwainer Smith, and Herbert W. Franke.
I could try to translate the story (used to translate a few books the other way round), but it's a rather awkward diction - would need some time...

cranky47's picture
@Kevin Levites

@Kevin Levites

"---If more people (especially here in my country)"

I think you overestimate the wilful ignorance and and stupidity of 'we the the people' in most countries, about most things---I did a year of philosophy at university, as part of my degree course , and got straight A's for the whole degree. ---even so, I am often out of my depth here in knowledge and critical thinking.

To be fair,I've belonged to perhaps a dozen atheist forums in the last decade. As far as I can tell, this one has the most intelligent and erudite members overall--that's why I stay ; for the constant challenge. (even from some of the apologists )

---------don't go getting big headed, intellect is no substitute for nous and 'human qualities.' ---some of the most brilliant people I've known cannot be trusted with sharp objects or in public without a minder ,or are complete crunts. . I exaggerate only slightly.

Kevin Levites's picture
(Directed at cranky47)

(Directed at cranky47)

It is possible that I overestimate peoples' stupidity, but part of that is my background.

I was a paramedic and/or EMT (depending on jurisdiction) for almost 12 years, and human stupidity was my bread-and-butter.

Yes, my job (ie: financial security) existed because of human stupidity 90% of the time.

1) A small, unassuming man thought it would be cool to go into a biker bar and spit in the face of a Hell's Angel in front of the other members of his motorcycle club.

2) A man fed a wild, 12 foot alligator with his bare hands.

3) A woman complained of indigestion after swallowing about $2.00 worth of dimes.

And so on.

Also, I feel that I don't overestimate human stupidity because we did, indeed, elect Donald Trump as our president.

Kevin Levites's picture
(Directed at qilin)

(Directed at qilin)

I've had 4 short stories published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

I don't use pen names, except for a female pen name that I once used to write a (truly atrocious and nauseating) romance novel for a series in a specific imprint. I admit that I was a whore, and wrote the novel purely for money while following a format that was given to me by the publisher.

I had a murder mystery in Noir Nation, a couple of horror stories for Blood Moon Rising, several letters in Analog, and many other pieces. I had my first non-fiction book Field Notes of an Autistic Paramedic recently published, and the reviews are good.

My favorite story of mine from Analog was Pale Horse. In it, I postulated that the court of the future could sentence a criminal to Hell by downloading the criminal's mind into a computer simulation that mimics Hell . . . when he or she is executed.

I won't ruin it by giving a spoiler, but my audience liked it and the critics liked it for the most part.

qilin's picture
A cute idea, sounds

A cute idea, sounds interesting - would like to read it. The Field Notes might be interesting, too - I've got some Points on the Aspie scale also, but my main road is Alexithymia. The book I can get in Kindle Format.

Because of the Lem Story - I've started and tried the first Paragraph. It's heavy stuff, sort of, but maybe it's interesting here - the voice of a 'would-be god' :)

. . . So we are afflicted anew with a zeal for research and fulfilling the input condition – limiting ourselves –, without which we are capable of nothing, because we are everything. Everything and nothing here means the same of course; for he who is everything, and he alone, is capable of nothing: in the absoluteness, our unceasing attribute – except it pleases us, like in this case, to discontinue it – there is neither room for any striving, because it is arrival, nor for seeking, because it is all-finding, nor for thinking, because all is thought at once. That we are able to limit our excess, that we have restrained ourselves often already, we owe to our omnipotence. It expresses itself always as a certain resignation, an abandonment, because it is the derivation of selection, and if we would realize numberless intents at once, and said, “Let there be all!”, and thus replicated ourselves (which, by the way, we did already, again and again), it would change nothing, because no increase can enlarge us, no gain strengthen us. Infinity added to infinity will result in infinity only again.

Kevin Levites's picture
(Directed at qilin)

(Directed at qilin)

Thank you for the translation. It sounds like a very profound and "deep" piece of writing, so I'll keep my radar on for translations.

My piece Pale Horse was in the Sept. 2003 issue of Analog. My book was published this past November.

See below:

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Kevin Levites's picture
My book:

My book:

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