On 7/10/2013 1:59 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 1:58 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 7/9/2013 11:06 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 11:53 PM, chris peck <chris_peck...@hotmail.com
there are many words like that which we use without any fuss.
The word 'game' is a famous example where different games possess a
properties which are shared by some and not others. In fact there
to be a set of properties sufficient to capture the nature of all games.
Nevertheless, we use the word without any fuss.
Words with broad meanings are fine. Where they lead to trouble is when one
the non-existence of all things that belong to very wide classes. For example
don't believe there exists any game that I would enjoy". As you point out,
statement applies to an immense set of possible objects because so many
games exist. Without knowing or experiencing every possible game, how can
belief be justified?
It's justified by introspection as to what one believes.
One may believe that, but the belief has no justification. Just because someone
dislikes 800 out of the 800 games they have tried is not proof that they dislike all
games. This reminds me of the joke where the physicists try to prove all odd numbers
Physicist: "1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 - that's strange, must be
experimental error..., 11 is prime, 13 is prime. It is proven!"
At least it's evidence. Do you only believe things that are "proven"? I'd consider
disliking 800 out of 800 games pretty good evidence.
Note that it is NOT the same as the assertion, "There is no game that I would
I can see see some difference between "I don't believe there exists any game that I
would enjoy" and "There is no game that I would enjoy.", but there are many atheists who
will confidently say "God does not exist". But even if an atheist said "I don't believe
in God", it still suffers from being a horribly ambiguous statement.
Many statements are pretty ambiguous without context.
So does an "agameist" simply fail to believe there is a game he would enjoy
an "agameist" assert, as a fact, there is no game he would enjoy.
Either one potentially. I like Bruno's use of "not" and "believe" to clearly
distinguish between these two characterizations.
Likewise, when Dawkins says he believes in no Gods, how can he make
such a statement without knowing all possible religions and conceptions of
The same way he can say believes in no teapots orbiting Jupiter.
That analogy does not work. There are logical reasons suggesting the low probability of
a teapot orbiting Jupiter. What are the logical reasons that no God-like entity exists
anywhere in reality?
Depends on what "God" means. If you allow theologians to define it, it could mean almost
anything. If you take common usage to define it - like all other words - there are both
logical and nomological reasons not to believe God exists.
Isn't it possible, (even suggested by some of our scientific theories), that
something that is infinite, uncreated, eternal, and responsible for your
Logically possible. Nomologically?
It is probable. If you put any stock in any of the various scientific theories that
suggest an infinite reality.
Infinite space or time don't imply a superhuman being whose approval we should
UDA, mathematical realism, string theory, cosmic inflation, many worlds. I think you
dislike these ideas in part because they shake the foundation of atheism: it becomes
much harder to deny the existence of objects on the mere basis that we can't see, if one
accepts that reality is as big as these theories suggest. Similarly, you once argued
against fine-tuning on the basis that it would provide ammunition for intelligent
designers. This isn't the ideal way to find correct theories.
I argued that fine-tuning counted *against* a supernatural creator. I don't recall ever
arguing against it simply because it supports intelligent design.
Isn't it possible that the simulation hypothesis could be true and that a
hyper-intelligent mind could explore (create?) reality through simulation?
hyper intelligent beings could even "save" other simpler beings by copying
pasting them into a reality under its control.
Isn't it possible that universalism is the correct theory of personal
there is in truth only one experiencer, the one soul behind all the eyes of
And it's possible we are the puppets of supernatural demons bent on
worst of all possible worlds.
But there is no evidence, argument, or justification for this.
Sure there is. Look at all the evil and suffering in the world. Life that makes us hope
in the face of inevitable death, not only of ourselves but of everyone and everything we know.
Atheism, in its naivety, rejects all these possibilities without even
has done so.
"Rejects" as in "fails to believe" - as any rational person would.
Rationality does not justify their rejection of these theories. Your statement above is
a perfect example of the atheist assumption that rationality is always on the side of
their dogma. Tell me, what is irrational about universalism? It is an idea that Erwin
Schrodinger, Kurt Godel, Fred Hoyle, Freeman Dyson, Arnold Zuboff, etc. all
independently arrived upon, and is supported up by many thought experiments on the
subject of personhood and personal identity.
I don't think it's irrational. You're putting words in my mouth. But the purpose of
experiments should be to test a theory. What test might falsify universalism?
Sorry I forgot the existence of a single mind sounds too much like God, and therefore
must be false and no rational person could ever come to such a conclusion!
Various existing religions across the world have described God in terms
identical to the three examples above.
No religion with more than a handful of adherents posits an impersonal God.
The second God I mentioned (the hyper-intelligences that exist as Jupiter brains/omega
point civilizations, AI's with unlimited computing power in the UD, etc. are not
impersonal. They are thinking, conscious entities. If reality is very big, then these
entities are certain to exist.
Do you need to seek their approval? If not why regard them as God?
Of course the apologists for religions have used such terms, because they
much the evidence is against a personal God and so they have sought to
something on which they can hang the word "God".
Atheists would prefer that we forgot about logical realistic Gods and focus on only the
impossible, illogical, inconsistent ones, it makes their lives a lot easier.
Atheists know what God they fail to believe in, the God of theism. That's why they are
a-theists and not a-deists.
What motivation does atheism have to reject these notions of god? It seems
only reason is the dogma: "there is no god", and so it was proven "anything
even has the appearance of a god is obviously false at the start."
The atheists I know (including Dawkins and Stenger) are careful to define
the god of Abraham as described in the Torah, the Bible, the Quran, the god
Sounds like further confirmation of Bruno's theory.
They directly admit that the god of deism is possible - though there is no
Isn't it better to have an unbiased, agnostic, and open mind on ontological
questions which are no where close to being settled?
But if you believe things just because they are possible then you're so
you're in danger of having your brains fall out.
Don't worry; it hasn't happened to anyone I know.
And in a way the fact 'God' means different things to different people
problem. If I say someone is an atheist, you can say that this person
conception of God, whatever it is, and doesn't believe that thing
can say that much at the very least.
In that case everyone is an atheist, as you could cook up any definition of
God that person will not believe in.
Which is just the converse of dreaming up "possible" gods in order that you
claim everyone MUST believe in one of them and so everyone is religious.
It is (some) atheists saying no gods exist. It only takes one counter example to
disprove that proposition.
The word atheist is either meaningless (if it applies to specific or certain
God/gods), or it is inconsistent/unsupported if you apply it to more general
definitions of god. It's a word that seems to carry less than 1 bit of
I think a far better term (one that perhaps many people really mean when
they are agnostic or atheist) is that they are a "free thinker" as in:
"The philosophical <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy> viewpoint
opinions should be formed on the basis of logic
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason>, and empiricism
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empiricism>, rather than authority
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tradition>, or other dogmas
Free thought is also more in line with the a genuine scientific attitude,
many sects of atheism are prone to authority and dogmas.
I agree with the first clause. The second makes me wonder where are these
atheism" where are their dogmas promulgated, where do they meet, how are
What I meant is that there are brands of atheism where the adherents care more about
preserving their own belief of "no god" than listing to what logic, reason, and
And then there seems to be everybody else, who are exercised to find SOMETHING, ANYTHING
they can hang the tag "God" on.
"People are more unwilling to give up the word 'God' than to give up the idea for which
the word has hitherto stood"
--- Bertrand Russell
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