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Question for Atheists

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  • Question for Atheists

    Are there any other atheists here who feel like a philosophical argument would be more persuasive than an advanced physics experiment indicating the existence of God? I'll be surprised if there's even one.

    Basically my reasoning is that a philosophical argument is something I can evaluate first hand. With a scientific experiment it seems like the experimenter could always have some bias, or there could be some overlooked variable involved. The other thing that I have a decent idea what a philosophical argument for God would look like, and I can't easily imagine any experiment indicating the existence of God. (Sometimes theists plug alleged scientific data into their arguments, like with fine tuning, but these are still predominantly philosophical arguments.)

    What are your thoughts on this?
    "There is no singular thing in nature that is more useful to man than a man who lives according to the guidance of reason."
    ~ Spinoza, Ethics, 4p35c1

  • #2
    Thank you. You said clearly what I struggle with. A philosophical argument could never be proof of The God of The Bible. The evidence does not fit the claim.

    We need empirical evidence to prove a claim as big as knowing the all powerful creator of 130 billion galaxies.

    This is why I suggest we are all agnostic. I am agnostic but feel that the likelyhood of God is incredibly remote. A Christian is an agnostic who thinks the likelyhood of God is very high. But neither of us can prove it and either could be wrong.

    Agnostics unite!
    Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta (Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds) - Zoroaster

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Occam View Post
      Are there any other atheists here who feel like a philosophical argument would be more persuasive than an advanced physics experiment indicating the existence of God? I'll be surprised if there's even one.

      Basically my reasoning is that a philosophical argument is something I can evaluate first hand. With a scientific experiment it seems like the experimenter could always have some bias, or there could be some overlooked variable involved. The other thing that I have a decent idea what a philosophical argument for God would look like, and I can't easily imagine any experiment indicating the existence of God. (Sometimes theists plug alleged scientific data into their arguments, like with fine tuning, but these are still predominantly philosophical arguments.)

      What are your thoughts on this?
      Occam,

      Regarding ones God, a physics experiment would be worthless. A philosophical argument might help though. We might actually realize that we do
      indeed have gods in our life that we bend our knee to and we might actually seek to weed the worthless ones out of our life and seek One
      that is worthy of our devotion.

      "There are more idols than realities in the world....
      there are no more puffed-up idols and none more hollow.
      That does not prevent them from being those in which
      people have the most faith; nor does one ever say
      'idol' especially not in the most distinguished
      instance.
      Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols.

      That they will not admit it sets them back. A serious discussion might do some good.

      JohnR

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lighthearted Athiest View Post
        Thank you. You said clearly what I struggle with. A philosophical argument could never be proof of The God of The Bible. The evidence does not fit the claim.

        We need empirical evidence to prove a claim as big as knowing the all powerful creator of 130 billion galaxies.

        This is why I suggest we are all agnostic. I am agnostic but feel that the likelyhood of God is incredibly remote. A Christian is an agnostic who thinks the likelyhood of God is very high. But neither of us can prove it and either could be wrong.

        Agnostics unite!
        lighthearted,

        Agnosticism is a cop out. A Christian is NOT an agnostic. He has a God he loves and wants near himself always.
        His God is worthy of his devotion.

        It is not unusual for the One True God to seem remote. This is because He is Hidden and not to be proven and certainly not to be
        described in the most common and false terms like your all powerful thing you invented. Such a description attempts to control the
        One True God and is insulting to the highest degree. My friend Pascal explains.

        "Let them at least learn what is the religion they attack, before
        attacking it. If this religion boasted of having a clear view
        of God, and of possessing it open and unveiled, it would be
        attacking to say that we see nothing in the world which shows
        it with this clearness. But since, on the contrary, it says
        that men are in darkness and estranged from God, that He has
        hidden Himself from their knowledge, that is in fact the
        name which He gives Himself in Scriptures, Deus absonditus
        (Hidden God)..."
        Blaise Pascal, Thoughts,

        The answer is to inquire. Jesus promised that those who seek wlll find.

        He stoops to reveal Himself in no uncertain terms.

        Col 1:15. "Jesus is the image of the Hidden God."

        JohnR

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Occam View Post
          Are there any other atheists here who feel like a philosophical argument would be more persuasive than an advanced physics experiment indicating the existence of God? I'll be surprised if there's even one.

          Basically my reasoning is that a philosophical argument is something I can evaluate first hand. With a scientific experiment it seems like the experimenter could always have some bias, or there could be some overlooked variable involved. The other thing that I have a decent idea what a philosophical argument for God would look like, and I can't easily imagine any experiment indicating the existence of God. (Sometimes theists plug alleged scientific data into their arguments, like with fine tuning, but these are still predominantly philosophical arguments.)

          What are your thoughts on this?
          The philosophical arguments for God would have to be based on actual observations of reality. "God exists" is certainly not a tautology which could be supported by logic alone. For instance, how would someone establish that the two premises of Kalam are valid in reality ?
          Regards, HRG.

          "The universe doesn't care what happens to its inhabitants, but its inhabitants do" (Tyrrho).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Occam View Post
            Are there any other atheists here who feel like a philosophical argument would be more persuasive than an advanced physics experiment indicating the existence of God? I'll be surprised if there's even one.

            Basically my reasoning is that a philosophical argument is something I can evaluate first hand. With a scientific experiment it seems like the experimenter could always have some bias, or there could be some overlooked variable involved. The other thing that I have a decent idea what a philosophical argument for God would look like, and I can't easily imagine any experiment indicating the existence of God. (Sometimes theists plug alleged scientific data into their arguments, like with fine tuning, but these are still predominantly philosophical arguments.)

            What are your thoughts on this?
            The philosophical argument would be more persuasive for myself, simply because I came to the conclusion that there was no god and never had been through philosophical argument.

            A scientific experiment would be less convincing since we would have to be certain of all the possible variables that could affect the outcome to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Occam View Post
              Are there any other atheists here who feel like a philosophical argument would be more persuasive than an advanced physics experiment indicating the existence of God? I'll be surprised if there's even one.

              Basically my reasoning is that a philosophical argument is something I can evaluate first hand. With a scientific experiment it seems like the experimenter could always have some bias, or there could be some overlooked variable involved. The other thing that I have a decent idea what a philosophical argument for God would look like, and I can't easily imagine any experiment indicating the existence of God. (Sometimes theists plug alleged scientific data into their arguments, like with fine tuning, but these are still predominantly philosophical arguments.)

              What are your thoughts on this?
              Philosophy can't even prove to me that YOU exist, let alone show that God exists.

              An advanced physics experiment would at least provide evidence. If God exists and interacts with the universe, then there should be evidence of such. I.e. if prayer worked, then It could be demonstrated to work in double blind studies.

              Of course either way you need a clear, unambiguous, consistent definition of "God". Good luck with that.

              Blacksheep

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Occam View Post
                Are there any other atheists here who feel like a philosophical argument would be more persuasive than an advanced physics experiment indicating the existence of God? I'll be surprised if there's even one.

                Basically my reasoning is that a philosophical argument is something I can evaluate first hand. With a scientific experiment it seems like the experimenter could always have some bias, or there could be some overlooked variable involved. The other thing that I have a decent idea what a philosophical argument for God would look like, and I can't easily imagine any experiment indicating the existence of God. (Sometimes theists plug alleged scientific data into their arguments, like with fine tuning, but these are still predominantly philosophical arguments.)

                What are your thoughts on this?
                It's not a binary proposition for me. I leave open the possibility that an easily-grasped philosophical argument could be compared to an obtuse physics experiment, and that I'd find the former more persuasive than the latter.

                In general, though, I find empirical science more persuasive than argumentation - when it comes to specifics. Argumentation for me establishes broad concepts, whereas science gets down in the trenches. These days, gods have been crammed into trenches (rather than having free reign to inspire and explain what we see), which is why I lean towards science.
                Anyone who actually believes in the existence of sin will avoid lying about others and misrepresenting them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blacksheep View Post
                  Philosophy can't even prove to me that YOU exist, let alone show that God exists.

                  An advanced physics experiment would at least provide evidence. If God exists and interacts with the universe, then there should be evidence of such. I.e. if prayer worked, then It could be demonstrated to work in double blind studies.

                  Of course either way you need a clear, unambiguous, consistent definition of "God". Good luck with that.

                  Blacksheep
                  How can we know that physics is valid if we don't even know that we exist?

                  I know that a lot of atheists are pragmatists, but you have to steal the concept of objective knowledge to be a pragmatist. You're asserting that pragmatism is objectively true.
                  "There is no singular thing in nature that is more useful to man than a man who lives according to the guidance of reason."
                  ~ Spinoza, Ethics, 4p35c1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by highrigger View Post

                    Occam,

                    Regarding ones God, a physics experiment would be worthless. A philosophical argument might help though. We might actually realize that we do
                    indeed have gods in our life that we bend our knee to and we might actually seek to weed the worthless ones out of our life and seek One
                    that is worthy of our devotion.

                    "There are more idols than realities in the world....
                    there are no more puffed-up idols and none more hollow.
                    That does not prevent them from being those in which
                    people have the most faith; nor does one ever say
                    'idol' especially not in the most distinguished
                    instance.
                    Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols.

                    That they will not admit it sets them back. A serious discussion might do some good.

                    JohnR
                    On this discussion I think that the Bible offers a thought worth considering: the only one worthy of devotion as God is the One who created all things. (Revelation 4:11) If there is no creator then there is no God. But if there is One who created life and all things then that One is worthy of recognition, respect and thanks.

                    john

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Occam View Post
                      How can we know that physics is valid if we don't even know that we exist?
                      Oh, I know I exist (I think therefore I am), I just am not sure about YOU.

                      Originally posted by Occam View Post
                      I know that a lot of atheists are pragmatists, but you have to steal the concept of objective knowledge to be a pragmatist. You're asserting that pragmatism is objectively true.
                      I don't appreciate you telling me what I think and what I am asserting. But once one assumes an objective reality exists, and knowledge of it is possible, then any existing being that interacts with that reality is in principle detectable through those interactions.

                      Feel free to make a philosophical case for God without assuming objective reality exists and knowledge of it is possible.

                      Blacksheep

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Blacksheep View Post
                        Oh, I know I exist (I think therefore I am), I just am not sure about YOU.
                        "I think" includes the "I" to begin with, so it doesn't establish that you exist. That's the starting point, not something you prove.

                        As for doubting me, you know beyond a reasonable doubt that I exist. Whatever other, unreasonable doubts you're harboring don't count.

                        I don't appreciate you telling me what I think and what I am asserting. But once one assumes an objective reality exists, and knowledge of it is possible, then any existing being that interacts with that reality is in principle detectable through those interactions.
                        If you're "assuming" these things without any grounds for them, then you are stealing them from another worldview that does have grounds for them.

                        Feel free to make a philosophical case for God without assuming objective reality exists and knowledge of it is possible.
                        That would be odd, since I don't think God exists.
                        "There is no singular thing in nature that is more useful to man than a man who lives according to the guidance of reason."
                        ~ Spinoza, Ethics, 4p35c1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Occam View Post
                          Are there any other atheists here who feel like a philosophical argument would be more persuasive than an advanced physics experiment indicating the existence of God? I'll be surprised if there's even one.

                          Basically my reasoning is that a philosophical argument is something I can evaluate first hand. With a scientific experiment it seems like the experimenter could always have some bias, or there could be some overlooked variable involved. The other thing that I have a decent idea what a philosophical argument for God would look like, and I can't easily imagine any experiment indicating the existence of God. (Sometimes theists plug alleged scientific data into their arguments, like with fine tuning, but these are still predominantly philosophical arguments.)

                          What are your thoughts on this?
                          I just can't imagine what kind of physics experiment could possibly settle the issue, or even make one conclusion seem more reasonable.

                          More broadly, I think there could be empirical evidence which could be brought out on either side, but there would have to be an argument showing that such evidence reasonably implied the looked-for conclusion. For example, there's empirical evidence that DNA is really complex. This would only be evidence for the existence of God, however, if it were a sound argument to say:

                          Really complex things could only have been designed by God;
                          DNA is a really complex thing;
                          Therefore, DNA could only have been designed by God (and therefore God exists, or at least did once exist).

                          But obviously the first premise is eminently disputable.

                          So I don't see any firm distinction between arguments and observations. Each depends on the other.
                          I promise that if you treat me as a reasonable person -- someone who is open to good arguments and clear explanations -- I will treat you as one in return.

                          If, on the other hand, you don't consider me a reasonable person, why would you want to talk to me, and why would I want to listen to you?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by john g View Post

                            On this discussion I think that the Bible offers a thought worth considering: the only one worthy of devotion as God is the One who created all things. (Revelation 4:11) If there is no creator then there is no God. But if there is One who created life and all things then that One is worthy of recognition, respect and thanks.

                            john
                            johng

                            Makes more sense than a scientific experiment. Don't you think?

                            JohnR

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Occam View Post
                              How can we know that physics is valid if we don't even know that we exist?

                              I know that a lot of atheists are pragmatists, but you have to steal the concept of objective knowledge to be a pragmatist. You're asserting that pragmatism is objectively true.
                              No, just that our existence and pragmatism are good working hypotheses - and that we have to make a difference between knowing that the Earth is not flat, and knowing that there are infinitely many prime numbers.
                              Regards, HRG.

                              "The universe doesn't care what happens to its inhabitants, but its inhabitants do" (Tyrrho).

                              Comment

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