Old 01-10-2011, 04:30 PM   #211
anthonyjfuchs
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selliedjoup wrote
Sweet, you say "Flying Spaghetti Monster" I say "nebulous magic man".
Except that they are not the same, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster will smite you for suggesting it.

Does your "nebulous magic man" really not mind being mis-identified as the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

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Yes I understand how you view the burden of proof is on me.
I don't view the burden of proof is on you.

The burden of proof is on you.

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You require observable empirical evidence for something to be proven. Thatís your choice.
It's a "choice"? What's the alternative? Accepting claims without sufficient evidence?

Is that the choice you made?

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Iím saying unless you have a viable alternative there is no reason to say no unless you can prove otherwise.
If I offer you an unreasonable answer -- say, that magical leprechauns created the universe exactly as it is 237 seconds ago -- can you "say no" even though you can't prove otherwise?

In turn: if you offer me an unreasonable explanation -- such as your god hypothesis -- I have ever reason to "say no." I am under no obligation to accept an unreasonable explanation even if I don't have the naturalistic explanation at hand.

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Life, and the universe, both require some form of explanation.
But they do not require a supernatural explanation.

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Without knowing all the facts, a person either takes a base position of something created it, or nothing created it.
Or a person can choose not to take a position, because one lacks enough facts to take such a position.

Scientists do it all the time. Theists, on the other hand, do not.

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Logic pushes me towards something and logic pushes you towards nothing?
I see no evidence of anything outside of the universe, so logic pushes me away from something.

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If something is unknown that does not mean it does not exist.
If something it not known, then it is unreasonable to assume that it does exist.

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So denying by default is an odd position to take.
That's an odd statement to make, since that's exactly the position that you take on all claims outside of your religion.

Remaining neutral, however, is the only logical position to take on an unsupported claim in which we do not know all the facts. I remain neutral on your claims: they may be true (just as it may be true that there are magical unicorns living in the subterranean caverns of Pluto's moon Charon), but since you haven't given me a sufficient reason to think that they are true, I do not accept them as true.

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:40 PM   #212
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crazy Jerry wrote
Life, and the universe, both require some form of explanation.
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anthonyjfuchs wrote View Post
But they do not require a supernatural explanation.
This seems to be the point where Jerry's cognition seems to consistently cause electrical fires in his doltish head. He can't seem to wrap his tiny brain around the possibility that the universe has a naturalistic explanation.

Poor Jerry!

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Old 01-10-2011, 06:32 PM   #213
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anthonyjfuchs wrote View Post
Except that they are not the same, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster will smite you for suggesting it.

Does your "nebulous magic man" really not mind being mis-identified as the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
Ok theyíre not the same. I cannot define what my nebulous magic man will smite you for or whether it minds being misidentified.
Can you tell me why your monster will smite me?

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I don't view the burden of proof is on you.

The burden of proof is on you.
Itís not on me. Youíre making a claim that something doesnít exist without a viable alternative to state why it doesnít. Iím not saying it does exist, Iím saying it might exist. I havenít discounted it, you have. My position is I donít know whether it exists. Yours is it doesnít exist, yet the burden of proof is on me?
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It's a "choice"? What's the alternative? Accepting claims without sufficient evidence?

Is that the choice you made?
The choice I made is to accept that the nebulous magic man might exist, although I would prefer to keep ďmanĒ out of the name as this defines something beyond what I know.

We donít have all the facts, and may or may not be able to obtain the facts. The chances are this wonít be determined in our lifetime, so your hand is forced to choose a side. While I accept all that science has proven, I donít hang on every word of the latest scientific unproven musings. Too many scientists cross over from their field of expertise to existential philosophy where they have nothing of merit to say.

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If I offer you an unreasonable answer -- say, that magical leprechauns created the universe exactly as it is 237 seconds ago -- can you "say no" even though you can't prove otherwise?
In turn: if you offer me an unreasonable explanation -- such as your god hypothesis -- I have ever reason to "say no." I am under no obligation to accept an unreasonable explanation even if I don't have the naturalistic explanation at hand.
[/quote]

Yes but thatís a choice on your part. There is more to existence than what we can currently interpret and obtain. Even with a naturalistic explanation this will not discount god and even if he doesnít exist you wonít be able to prove it. Thatís just bad luck on your part.
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But they do not require a supernatural explanation.
I agree. I just donít rule out a supernatural one.
Or a person can choose not to take a position, because one lacks enough facts to take such a position.

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Scientists do it all the time. Theists, on the other hand, do not.
The problem with the atheist position is how the intense dislike of religion/theists crosses over with the neutrality of science. Many of your kind misrepresent themselves in this way.
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I see no evidence of anything outside of the universe, so logic pushes me away from something.
Do you expect to see some form of evidence outside of the universe?
If something it not known, then it is unreasonable to assume that it does exist.


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That's an odd statement to make, since that's exactly the position that you take on all claims outside of your religion.
I have no religion. That said, you could apply the same principle to your atheism.

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Remaining neutral, however, is the only logical position to take on an unsupported claim in which we do not know all the facts. I remain neutral on your claims: they may be true (just as it may be true that there are magical unicorns living in the subterranean caverns of Pluto's moon Charon), but since you haven't given me a sufficient reason to think that they are true, I do not accept them as true.
This seems to be a fairly consistent atheist ploy, applying fantasy based examples to illustrate how whimsical theist claims are. What would the magical unicorns actually account for, or what would they help explain?
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:55 PM   #214
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selliedjoup wrote
Itís not on me. Youíre making a claim that something doesnít exist without a viable alternative to state why it doesnít.
No, I'm not.

I'm saying that you haven't shown me sufficient evidence to convince me that your "nebulous magic man" is real, or even that it might be real. I'm making the claim that I am not convinced that this thing you say exists actually does exist.

I'm not making a statement about its actual existence. I'm making a statement about your ability to convince me of your claim.

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selliedjoup wrote
Iím not saying it does exist, Iím saying it might exist. I havenít discounted it, you have.
I haven't discounted it. I have discounted your claim about it.

You haven't shown me any evidence that it might exist, beyond your claim that it might exist.

Therefore, I am unconvinced of your claim that this thing might exist.

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The choice I made is to accept that the nebulous magic man might exist...
Fine enough. It might exist. Now give me a reason to think that it does exist, because I see no reason to act on things that might be true.

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We donít have all the facts, and may or may not be able to obtain the facts. The chances are this wonít be determined in our lifetime, so your hand is forced to choose a side.
No, it's not.

I can choose not to take a side.

Taking a side without enough information is irresponsible.

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There is more to existence than what we can currently interpret and obtain. Even with a naturalistic explanation this will not discount god and even if he doesnít exist you wonít be able to prove it.
It will also not discount magical leprechauns, or triomni Charonian unicorns, or time-traveling scientists.

Why should I treat your unreasonable explanation as true instead of those unreasonable explanations? Why do you treat one might as true instead of all the various other mights?

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I agree. I just donít rule out a supernatural one.
Since I have never encountered anything that could not be explained naturally, I have no reason to resort to the supernatural for explanations. Occam's Razor.

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Do you expect to see some form of evidence outside of the universe?
If the claim is that a creator-being exists outside of the universe, then yes.

I should accept less?

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I have no religion.
So you don't believe that this "nebulous magic [man]" that might exist wants you to do certain things and doesn't want you to do other things? You don't believe any of the theohistorical tales of, say, Jesus? You don't believe that your "magic [man]" did certain things and interacted with the world in certain ways in the past?

[quote]That said, you could apply the same principle to your atheism.[/font][/color]
You already did. That's why we're discussing the issue.

More importantly, and more to the point: I can apply the same principle to your religion.

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What would the magical unicorns actually account for, or what would they help explain?
Exactly the same things that your "nebulous magic [man]" accounts for and explains.

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:42 PM   #215
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It has already been explained to Jerry, ad nauseam, that atheists don't reject the possibility of gods, they reject only the unsubstantiated hypothesis that there are gods. He is simply a dishonest little troll who wants to argue for the sake of argument.

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Old 01-10-2011, 08:02 PM   #216
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selliedjoup wrote View Post
I understand what atheists claim atheism is, I just donít buy it. If you claim Ďsomethingí doesnít exist on the basis of evidence youíve heard


We really don't care if you 'buy it'. You don't get to define our position.

When did I say (or the vast majority of atheists claim) that 'something' doesn't exist? I'm claiming that there is insufficient evidence to justify belief that 'something' does exist.

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then you need to provide a suitable explanation for all that the Ďsomethingí may have caused to effectively discount it
Not having an answer does not justify claiming that an unseen, untestable deity is responsible.

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Simply yelling ďnoĒ like a petulant child does nothing to convince anyone except those who yell ďnoĒ as well.
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If you require no evidence to say ďnoĒ thatís your prerogative, but excuse me if I remain unconvinced by not basing my view on where the burden of proof lies


I'm not yelling 'no'. I'm asking for evidence and reasoned argument to support your claim that a god exists.

I require evidence to yell 'YES'.

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I donít care how you reach your conclusion, but stating youíre correct without providing an alternative solution makes no sense
Who says I've reached a conclusion or claim to be right?

I do not claim to know, with absolute certainty, that a god does not exist. I disbelieve one does. I am not justified to believe a god exists based on the evidence that has been presented to me.

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Iím agnostic and donít believe in any religion, yet I canít discount the existence of a god until some valid evidence can account for the causes of the universe
The more rational position taken by critical thinkers is to default to disbelief until evidence can be provided to support a claim. Not to default to belief because "I can't account for the causes of the universe".

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How you manage to leap to atheism without any form of evidence to do so only shows your personal view. You can magically absolve yourself from having to provide any form of proof if you want to, but this will only convince the converted.
My position is that there is insufficient evidence to support the claim that a god exists.

Where is my 'leap' in that position?

What proof do I need to provide? Again, I'm not claiming to know, with absolute certainty, that a god does not ex ist.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #217
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selliedjoup wrote View Post
I'm not asking you to disprove my nebulous magic man, I'm asking you to prove that the he is "not required".
As soon as you've proven to me that leprechauns aren't required, I'll get right on your request.

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:15 AM   #218
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selliedjoup wrote View Post
We donít have all the facts, and may or may not be able to obtain the facts. The chances are this wonít be determined in our lifetime, so your hand is forced to choose a side.
So, your position is that it made logical sense to attribute thunder and lightning to Thor, just because they didn't understand the physics of thunderstorms? Or did it make more sense to reserve judgement, until more knowledge was available?
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selliedjoup wrote View Post
While I accept all that science has proven, I donít hang on every word of the latest scientific unproven musings.
Excellent, same here, except that I also don't hang on every word of the religious philosophers (well, I don't hang on any of their words, really).

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selliedjoup wrote View Post
The problem with the atheist position is how the intense dislike of religion/theists crosses over with the neutrality of science. Many of your kind misrepresent themselves in this way.
Can you elaborate on the "atheist position"? I missed that memo from the Central Bureau of Atheism.
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selliedjoup wrote View Post
This seems to be a fairly consistent atheist ploy, applying fantasy based examples to illustrate how whimsical theist claims are.
It's a fairly common ploy, because it does such a good job of ridiculing the intellectually retarded position of "I don't get it, therefore a magical being did it".

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
George Bernard Shaw
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:40 AM   #219
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Simoon wrote View Post


When did I say (or the vast majority of atheists claim) that 'something' doesn't exist? I'm claiming that there is insufficient evidence to justify belief that 'something' does exist.

I guess I should clarify here that the 'something' I mention was originally used by selliedjoup in a response to me to denote a supernatural universe creating deity.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:54 AM   #220
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nkb wrote
So, your position is that it made logical sense to attribute thunder and lightning to Thor, just because they didn't understand the physics of thunderstorms? Or did it make more sense to reserve judgement, until more knowledge was available?
Let's say that the chances of a god -- any god -- existing at 50/50 (they're not, but let's have some fun here). Does it make more sense to jump the gun without all of the information and assume, not only that a god exists, but that a certain god out of the roughly 10,000 that have been conceived by mankind exists? With a 50% chance that any god exists, and a .01% of guessing the correct one, the chances that a particular god actually exists are roughly .005%. The chances that a god exists but that you've guessed the wrong god, on the other hand, are 49.95%. If everyone who doesn't believe in whatever god may actually exists will be punished with eternal torment, than the chances of any person going to hell, especially if he throws in with a particular god, are 99.95%. Or so.

Selly says he'd hate to see me on a jury. I'd hate to see him as the cop making the case. He's far too eager to form opinions based on incomplete information, and has an unhealthy tendency to lean toward what might be true.

What is it they say? If you hear hoofbeats, don't start looking for zebras.

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:27 PM   #221
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anthonyjfuchs wrote View Post
No, I'm not.

I'm saying that you haven't shown me sufficient evidence to convince me that your "nebulous magic man" is real, or even that it might be real. I'm making the claim that I am not convinced that this thing you say exists actually does exist.

I'm not making a statement about its actual existence. I'm making a statement about your ability to convince me of your claim.
But Iíve already stated that I have no evidence to show you. I asked you to provide evidence to account for life and the universe and you are unable to do so. If you cannot provide a valid alternative then you are in no position to negate whether it might be true. Anything might be real, and pure conjecture is as valid as anything. We are also in no position to assess the probability of what is and what isn't.

Are you saying someone could convince you otherwise or is it just based on the evidence available? I think you built this philosophical position around your initial disbelief, logic and reason has not brought about your atheism, otherwise you would be agnostic.


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I haven't discounted it. I have discounted your claim about it.

You haven't shown me any evidence that it might exist, beyond your claim that it might exist.

Therefore, I am unconvinced of your claim that this thing might exist.
I have made no claim about it, so youíve discounted what hasnít been defined.
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Fine enough. It might exist. Now give me a reason to think that it does exist, because I see no reason to act on things that might be true.
]You havenít given me a reason why itís not required. Whatever is and caused existence goes way beyond our current sphere of knowledge. Simply being able to measure what is does not determine a cause, it merely provides an answer to ďhowĒ.

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No, it's not.

I can choose not to take a side.

Taking a side without enough information is irresponsible.
Atheism negates, it doesnít state I donít know. I admit I lean towards something as I canít reconcile an uncaused cause, although I know I donít know and am guessing.

You are negating yet are on no side? Do you think itís an assumption that humans are capable of perceiving all that is?
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It will also not discount magical leprechauns, or triomni Charonian unicorns, or time-traveling scientists.

Why should I treat your unreasonable explanation as true instead of those unreasonable explanations? Why do you treat one might as true instead of all the various other mights?
As my explanation is so open-ended that it could be anything. Most here become so preoccupied with my explanation even though I never remotely define it. My basis for this is we donít have enough evidence to account for how questions, let alone begin to answer a why question

Most here seemingly disregard the need for a why as it does not fit into a naturalistic answer. For a why not to be required, requires either an infinity of Ďsomethingí or random chance.

Atheism also works on the assumption that we are fully capable of observing/measuring a complete explanation.
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Since I have never encountered anything that could not be explained naturally, I have no reason to resort to the supernatural for explanations. Occam's Razor.
Never? Most people I know have experienced something that they havenít been able to explain, even the devout atheists.
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If the claim is that a creator-being exists outside of the universe, then yes.

I should accept less?
There is no claim on whether the creator being exists within or outside the universe. Hypothetically, how would you hope to see evidence, using scientific methods, of something that cannot be observed or measured within this universe?[/font]
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So you don't believe that this "nebulous magic [man]" that might exist wants you to do certain things and doesn't want you to do other things? You don't believe any of the theohistorical tales of, say, Jesus? You don't believe that your "magic [man]" did certain things and interacted with the world in certain ways in the past?
No I have no belief on what NMM wants me to do. I do think someone called Jesus existed. If I had to guess I donít think heís the son of god, but I havenít ruled it out. I donít live my life on any Christian ideals apart from those defined by the culture I live in.

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That said, you could apply the same principle to your atheism.[/font][/color]
You already did. That's why we're discussing the issue.

More importantly, and more to the point: I can apply the same principle to your religion.
I donít have a religion. Why do you think I do?
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Exactly the same things that your "nebulous magic [man]" accounts for and explains.
Oh, just the existence of everything. The crux of this is determined by whether causality is required at explaining the universe or not. It seems odd to apply our universeís causality to everything apart from the root cause of the universe.

The infinite regression argument does not convince me of anything as something beyond our current understanding is eventually required

So I have no issue considering that nmm might have.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:58 PM   #222
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Jerryís obstinacy is exceeded only by his willful stupidity.

The Leprechauns do not forbid the drawing of Their images, as long as we color within the lines. ~ Ghoulslime H Christ, Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Masturbator
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:09 PM   #223
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selliedjoup wrote View Post
If you cannot provide a valid alternative then you are in no position to negate whether it might be true.
Do you admit that leprechauns may be responsible for creating the universe?

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:18 PM   #224
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selliedjoup wrote
But Iíve already stated that I have no evidence to show you.
Then you can't call your idea a "valid alternative." Without evidence, it's just "a thing you dreamed up."

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selliedjoup wrote
I asked you to provide evidence to account for life and the universe and you are unable to do so.
What kind of evidence are you looking for? Evidence of what, precisely?

The matter that makes up life is found elsewhere in the universe, and there is no matter that makes up life that is not foudn elsewhere. That is evidence that life emerged naturally from within the universe, and requires no external source.

Time began after the moment of the Big Bang, which means that the gravitational singularity (which contained all of the matter and energy that makes up the universe) is, by definition, eternal. There is no evidence of where the universe "came from" because the universe did not "come from" anywhere.

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If you cannot provide a valid alternative then you are in no position to negate whether it might be true.
I just did. Care to prove me wrong?

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Anything might be real...
Not true. Logically impossible things cannot be real.

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...and pure conjecture is as valid as anything.
Valid as what? Certainly not as a way of interacting with the world.

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We are also in no position to assess the probability of what is and what isn't.
We certainly are. That is what evidence is for. Conjecture supported by evidence can be assessed as having greater probability than conjectured unsupported by evidence.

Since you admit that you have no evidence to support your conjecture, I can assess its probability as negligible. Even if I didn't have an alternative theory, your theory wouldn't be any more probable, because it is still not supported by evidence.

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Are you saying someone could convince you otherwise or is it just based on the evidence available?
I could be convinced otherwise if presented with sufficient evidence. What else should I base my understanding of the world on?

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I think you built this philosophical position around your initial disbelief
If by "disbelief" you mean "skepticism," then you are quite right. I, like you, am skeptical until shown sufficient evidence to assuage my skepticism.

If by "disbelief" you mean something else entirely, then you'd have to define your use of the term.

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logic and reason has not brought about your atheism, otherwise you would be agnostic.
Ah, but I'm both. I'm agnostic because I don't know, but I'm an atheist because I also don't believe. Further, I'm an atheist because I acknowledge that whether or not I believe is entirely irrelevant. What is true is true whether I believe it or not, and whether I believe or not has no effect on the truth. It doesn't matter what I believe, so I don't bother to do so.

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I have made no claim about it, so youíve discounted what hasnít been defined.
If you've made no claim, then there's nothing to discount. It there is something for me to discount, but it hasn't been defined, then I've discounted an undefined claim. I am under no obligation to entertain undefined claims. Define it, provide evidence for it, and I will reconsider it.

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]You havenít given me a reason why itís not required.
You haven't given me a reason why it is required. And since you are suggesting it, the burden is on you.

After all, I can't give a reason why something isn't required unless you have first suggested a something for me to refute.

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Whatever is and caused existence
What evidence do you have that existence must be caused?

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Atheism negates...
No, it just doesn't believe.

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...it doesnít state I donít know.
Nope. Agnosticism admits it doesn't know.

Atheism states that it doesn't believe. It doesn't negate; it just isn't convinced.

For example, are these two statements:

a) I don't believe in the Loch Ness monster.
b) the Loch Ness monster doesn't exist.

the same statement? Or is it possible to make the first statement while admitting that the second may not be true? Is it possible to say that, because of insufficient evidence, I do not believe that the Loch Ness monster exists while admitting that I may be wrong?

I don't believe in any gods because I don't see sufficient evidence for any. But there may be entities beyond our ability to comprehend, and I wouldn't say that they don't exist. Only that I don't believe that they do.

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I admit I lean towards something as I canít reconcile an uncaused cause, although I know I donít know and am guessing.
What do you imagine this something to be, if you can't reconcile an uncaused cause? Surely if must be a thing that was caused, and in turn that the thing that caused it must have been caused. Turtles all the way down, as it were.

I, on the other hand, have no problem reconciling an uncaused universe. It is more parsimonious than a universe caused by an uncaused creator, after all.



to be continued...

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #225
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You are negating yet are on no side?
I'm not negating anything. I'm just filing your claim as lacking evidence, which you've admitted. Your claim may or may not be true, but I'm not going to treat it as true until you show me some evidence that it is.

Call that negation if you must.

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Do you think itís an assumption that humans are capable of perceiving all that is?
Are you asking if I think that statement "humans are capable of perceiving all that is" is an assumption? Or if I think that humans are actually capable of perceiving all that is?

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As my explanation is so open-ended that it could be anything.
Then your "explanation" is in no way useful, and it is potentially incorrect.

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Most here become so preoccupied with my explanation even though I never remotely define it.
That's the problem. It's not an explanation if it's not defined. It's just some haphazard nonsense you're throwing together to be contrary.

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My basis for this is we donít have enough evidence to account for how questions, let alone begin to answer a why question
And yet you are positing an undefined answer to a "why question." What is your "nebulous magic [man]" if not an attempt to account for a "why question" without enough evidence?

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Most here seemingly disregard the need for a why...
You have not shown that one is required.

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For a why not to be required, requires either an infinity of Ďsomethingí or random chance.
Both are valid alternatives to your undefined "nebulous magic [man]."

Therefore, your "nebulous magic [man]" is not required.

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Atheism also works on the assumption that we are fully capable of observing/measuring a complete explanation.
Atheism works on the assumption that it is possible for a person to hear a claim and not be convinced by it.

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Never? Most people I know have experienced something that they havenít been able to explain, even the devout atheists.
I've never experienced anything that could not be explained naturalistically.

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Hypothetically, how would you hope to see evidence, using scientific methods, of something that cannot be observed or measured within this universe?
I have no hope or expectation on the matter. I have no idea what this evidence might look like if it existed. But if you want me to believe a claim that something outside the universe created the universe, that is the type of evidence I need to see.

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No I have no belief on what NMM wants me to do.
Then your claim is both unsupported and irrelevant.

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I donít have a religion. Why do you think I do?
Because the vast majority of people do. If you really don't, then good for you.

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Oh, just the existence of everything. The crux of this is determined by whether causality is required at explaining the universe or not. It seems odd to apply our universeís causality to everything apart from the root cause of the universe.
Why do you assume that the universe's own internal causality cannot explain its origin?

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The infinite regression argument does not convince me of anything as something beyond our current understanding is eventually required
Why is something beyond our current understanding required? What's wrong with the infinite regression argument?

On what basis do you negate the perfectly valid alternative of the infinite regression argument?

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So I have no issue considering that nmm might have.
Is the "nmm" subject to the infinite regression argument that doesn't convince you? Is the "nmm" subject to the uncaused cause idea that you can't reconcile?

Is it turtles all the way down, or do you give your undefined "nmm" a free pass on all the things you refuse to apply to the universe?

Here's a valid alternative: the universe is infinitely cyclical. It is currently expanding, with energy converting into heat, and will eventually begin to condense again until all of the energy is used up and it returns to a gravitational singularity. At that point, where physics no longer operate in the way we understand them, all of the heat energy will be recycled into usable energy. Once all of the energy becomes usable again, the singularity will expand again in another Big Bang. The universe will expand, matter and energy will do what they will, and the cycle will continue again.

Are the physics of a singularity not "something beyond our current understanding," just as you demanded? Does this not constitute a valid alternative that is both naturalistic and infinitely regressive?

Without all of the information, on what basis do you negate this scenario?

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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