General Discussions > Skepticism / Science Talk

The Existence of God - Scientifically Proven!

<< < (3/7) > >>

Apeiron:
I've just read the article 'proving' God's existence, and am once again disappointed that they haven't even thought of a new fallacious argument. The same old stuff is repeated again and again. Some sentences contain four or five fallacies and/or misunderstandings within them. In a single sentence!

Example:


--- Quote ---Over and over, these “theorists” try to explain how life evolved from inanimate material into more complex life forms until it reached the pinnacle—human beings.
--- End quote ---


1. Not really a fallacy I guess, but why is "theorists" between quotation marks? It's not as if theoretical scientists are just guessing, and it's not as if evolution is a purely theoretical field. On the contrary!
2. Evolution does not say anything whatsoever about inanimate matter. This shows a deep misunderstanding of what evolution is.
3. Human beings are not "the pinnacle".
4. The sentence implies that evolution has come to an end.
5. "Over and over"? What is that supposed to mean? The basic theory of evolution has been the same since publication. Great advancements have been made and lot's of details have been worked out, but it's not as if the entire theory is different.

Skeptical Gadfly:
The existence, or non-existence, of god cannot be "proven".  The word "proof" is only meaningful in logical or mathematical statements.  The existence or non-existence of god is a belief.  I am an atheist.  That means I believe that god does not exist.  It doesn't mean I can prove he does not exist.  That would be a waste of time.  Belief systems are based on criteria.  The believers have different criteria than non-believers.  As an atheist, my primary criteria comes from science.  For believers, the criteria is usually from authority.  You will note the author is constantly quoting scripture.  When he refers to science it is without an understanding of the science referenced.  E.g., "no facts or proofs have ever been found to support it."  (evolution)  This is absurd.  What is the genome project if not millions of facts supporting evolution?  Their belief in god prevents them from believing in evolution.  There is no bridging this gap.  They choose to believe, I don't.  The existence of god can't be proved.  It can't be dis-proved.  End of argument!

Hubbub:

--- Quote from: "Skeptical Gadfly" ---The existence of god can't be proved. It can't be dis-proved. End of argument!
--- End quote ---


Of course.  But it's a good exercise to point out exactly what the fallacies are in such an argument.  True, the word "proof" is thrown around too slap-dash, especially by religious fundamentalists.  If in an argument, someone whips out these gems and you just point out it's not actually a proof... fine, but that doesn't mean it can't be a good point or argument for the existence of a god.  By dissecting the fallacies, you demonstrate why it isn't a good argument.

In addition, applying logical arguments to scientific questions can tell us some very important things.  We can use logical paradoxes to establish prior plausibility of a hypothesis or phenomena.  For instance, the Michelson-Morley experiment did not disprove the ether.  It showed that the ether was neither moving nor stationary with respect to the earth.  Somewhat of a paradox, so the scientific community no longer deemed the ether hypothesis to be plausible.

Granted, God is not science, but if looking for a meta-physical truth, assessing the logical implications of a god can help you assign a prior plausibility to theism.  "Can an all-powerful God create a mountain so massive that He himself cannot move it?"  I'm stumped by that one.  Anyone heard of a good answer to it?

hastrong:

--- Quote from: "Skeptical Gadfly" ---The existence or non-existence of god is a belief.
--- End quote ---

I guess we can play that game until or unless an invulnerable 3000-foot tall Yahweh appears and starts demolishing San Francisco block-by-block.  Then it's an empirically attested fact. :-)

Skeptical Gadfly:

--- Quote from: "Hubbub" ---"Can an all-powerful God create a mountain so massive that He himself cannot move it?"  I'm stumped by that one.  Anyone heard of a good answer to it?
--- End quote ---


It sounds like another linguistic problem.  Perhaps its a "logical paradox."

I don't disagree with your argument.  It is important to be able to identify bad science, logical fallacies, etc.  Not that these will be convincing to your opponent.  But it is important if you are debating in front of others who might be swayed to your viewpoint.  

However, what I really meant to state was, there is a logical problem with the concept of "proof" in such debates.  In fact, the minute you attempt to "prove" things, you leave the realm of science and enter the realm of the believers.  As an atheist, I don't need to prove god doesn't exist.   I'm comfortable with a high degree of probability that god doesn't exist.  Should god turn up at my door, I might even change my mind.  (Mormon proselytizers please stay away.)  

The believers, however,  are uncomfortable with probability.  They have to have proof!  In fact, god is a kind of metaphysical trick they use to escape from probability into eternity.  They don't need facts, they go straight to revealed truth.    Then, when you don't accept their proof, they want you to prove they are wrong.  This, of course, you can't do.  Then, when you can't do it, that becomes proof they are right.  You can't prove this stuff, it is all based on belief.  You can attack their logic, you can debate their science talking points ad infinitum, but you will never prove god does, or does not, exist.

Einstein said that "God does not play dice."  Because a universe in which probability formed the basis of reality was unacceptable. It was a world in which god could not exist.  Today, things have changed.  With the advent of quantum mechanics, per Steven Hawking, "Thus it seems Einstein was doubly wrong when he said, God does not play dice. Not only does God definitely play dice, but He sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen."  It would seem that probability is the best evidence there is for the non existence of god.

"If god is all knowing, then certainty exists
But nothing is certain, therefore, god does not exist!" Skeptical Gadfly2000

Of course, I can't prove any of this.

For reference, you can read the lecture by Hawking at http://www.hawking.org.uk/lectures/dice.html

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version