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[Blogs] Where is zero? Agnosticism Vs Atheism

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#1
Hank

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Where is zero? Agnosticism Vs Atheism I was reading The God Delusion today (finally) and I came on a passage which, well, disappointed me. Dr. Dawkins wrote:"...reason alone could not propel one to a total conviction that soemthing definitely does not exist. (snip) I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about faries at the bottom of the garden"Dawkins is not a man of cowardice, so I assume his argument is not based on pussyfooting around the issue, rather is the result of the logical genius for which he is famous. However, I disagree with his statement.Somewhere, we have to define zero. Most of my readers are familiar with the Matrix, where the entire universe as we know it was an illusion that was implanted in our brains by extraterrestrials. Good (though not too original) fiction - but nobody can PROVE with 100% certainty that it's not true. This goes for everything in the universe.How can we say that ANYTHING is definite? If we are to assert that ANYTHING in our lives is 100% true, then by Dr. Dawkins' standards, we are wrong.I can't live like that, and I can't abide by that logic. Some things MUST be given a 100% probability, beyond the fiction on the movie screen or behind the pulpit. We are alive. Life is not a dream. Matter and energy exist -- gods do not.Is this a "personal zero" or an absolute? Am I rounding for comfort (or ego, or any other reason), or is Dr. Dawkins employing philosophical methodology for a scientific argument? http://www.atheists....cism_vs_atheism

#2
Ungodly

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I tend to agree with this snippet of editorial from the famous Austin Cline.  Dawkins does fall short of the mark when he says we can't be certain.  His error, it seems to me, is that he asks very slightly the wrong question.  If we ask whether the God of Abraham can be shown to be a paradoxical figment of a superstitious and uneducated mind, then clearly the answer is yes.

One need only examine the magic items and super powers attributed to this watered down middle eastern hodge podge of an old grouch.   Examine the traits of its powers and you'll soon see that the paradoxes abound.

He sent his almighty God son who is him but also somebody else so he could sacrifice his life to himself in a desperate effort to persuade himself to forgive crimes far less horrific than the way he treats children that ease old men.

He was hoping that if he, the immortal God that can't die, killed himself it might help him get over being so upset all the time with the pillars and the curses and the locusts and oh the condemnation.

And he is the absolute top number one most merciful and loving deity who ever had to take his own life to be able to just get the fuck over one god damn fucking apple already.  Which, in His Mercy, he did a lot of killing over too.

And the bloody altars.  And the Christians killing Christians in His name. Amen.

It is all such an enormous fetid pile of reeking horse manure that it is an insult to one's own intelligence to even consider the possibility such a twisted sister Mega God could ever exist.

It is the God of Abraham itself that proves it is all claptrap.

#3
FlatEarth1024

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I don't believe in God, not because of lack of scientific evidence (that's only part of the story), but because the whole idea of God is so slippery as to mean anything anyone wants it to mean, and therefore to mean nothing at all.


What a perfect statement to rebut Professor Dawkins' reluctance to define zero.  If you want to use the textbook, quantifiable, laboratory analysis definition, then it is perhaps true that NOTHING is zero.  But if one simply uses the standard layman common sense method where reality is based in no small part on the intelligent mind's ability to say "Come on, now...a story's a story.  But how stupid do I look?", then zero becomes not only possible, but the default until proven otherwise.

It is all such an enormous fetid pile of reeking horse manure that it is an insult to one's own intelligence to even consider the possibility such a twisted sister Mega God could ever exist.


Again, driving the point home.  No, we don't have the science or mathematics to DIS-prove a God any more than the Xeos have the data to prove him.  It simply comes down to how much one is willing to suspend one's reality and common sense, for believing in such a vile creature (and worshiping it as master no less) is concept foreign to both.

#4
Ungodly

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  It simply comes down to how much one is willing to suspend one's reality and common sense, for believing in such a vile creature (and worshiping it as master no less) is concept foreign to both.


As teenagers many of us imagine that we might just be imagining everything.  Finally we all conclude that we must take certain things for granted in our daily lives or forever keep asking "yeah, but what if?"

After exhaustive study and much consideration of available evidence, we tend to reach a conclusion. And out of all of the billions and billions of ways Sky Daddy could have made his presence known, there still is not a single shred of evidence for supernatural grouchy old white guys that exist outside reality in some can't exist world that supposedly exists.

#5
Ungodly

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I'm sure glad Hank started this thread!

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Thanks, Hank

#6
The White Coyote

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Whenever I ponder a problem such as this, I draw in my mind a set of balance scales. I then put the evidence, for and against, on either side and it typically takes very little time to come to a conclusion. The center of the scale I assume as zero, everything else has weight. It's an unusually simple method but also definitive.

#7
Frozenwolf150

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The provability of a negative is possible, but it's also contingent on the existence of a corresponding positive.  In other words, one can prove a negative by proving otherwise.  I don't usually bother with proofs regarding the existence or non-existence of a god or gods, unless some douche comes along claiming that they can prove God exists for a matter of fact.  Once they present that so-called proof, or provide a workable definition of God, then and only then can God be proven false.  Besides, I don't have to prove that Batman, leprechauns, or Yog'Sothoth don't exist, but clearly they do not.

What can be proven is that god and the gods exist on the level of ideas, or expressions thereof.  Ideas certainly exist, and can be a powerful influence over the way people think and behave.  However ideas can still be judged in terms of validity, and it's an inescapable fact of life that different people have different ideas and views.


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