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Why are you atheist?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by AesronDrosseli, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. ArneHD

    ArneHD Just a little bit mad

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    No, it is impossible to checkmate from that position. It is impossible to checkmate with any single piece actually.
     
  2. Askthepizzaguy

    Askthepizzaguy Know the Dark Side

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    Induction is what intelligence is based upon. Otherwise there is no knowledge, only data which serves no purpose. You cannot apply deductive reasoning without making an inductive argument first, such as: events are likely to repeat if conditions remain unchanged.

    Without assumption, science and human knowledge does not exist, and we could not survive. Our brains rely on pattern recognition for our survival. It is NOT to be dismissed so easily. As I said, if you remove inductive reasoning from the equation, then you have no idea what I am saying, and it is futile to communicate. Just because the definition of beans is "a musical fruit", I could actually mean tuna fish, and you just don't know that without inductive reasoning. So why bother arguing if your premise is that induction is invalid.

    Stalemate by repetition of position.
     
  3. lovett

    lovett Deity

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    I told you that I believe in induction. Anyway, given that chess is defined as a game set along particular rules and those rules ensure the black king must exist one can make a prima facie deductive argument that the black king exists. It's possible to checkmate with king and rook.

    Anyway, that's rather tangential. You still haven't explained the double standards as per justification you require with regard to God and induction.
     
  4. Greizer85

    Greizer85 Emperor

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    Spoiler :
    I do believe that induction is valid. I recognize that this belief is irrational from an objective pov, and I'm fine with it. We're not throwing anything out of the window; we're saying things hang on air and we don't know why. So far it seems no one can tell. It must be magic then - just like God is. :lol:

    Yes, yes, sleep... I just had to say it. :p
     
  5. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yeah, but if you claim that the chance of the sky being blue at any point in the future is 50%, then we can easily test your hypothesis.. by.. waiting :lol:
     
  6. Askthepizzaguy

    Askthepizzaguy Know the Dark Side

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    So you agree, in order to checkmate you'd have to have a black king. Therefore, the black king shouldn't be removed from the game. Likewise, in order to have an argument, you have to have some amount of inductive reasoning. Therefore, inductive reasoning shouldn't be removed from the game.

    From wikipedia on Inductive reasoning:

    One can have reasonable and logical, intelligent inductive arguments, others may have some rather baseless ones.

    If you eat a candy cane everyday, it may rot your teeth. But it may also turn you into a tapeworm. One is more reasonable than the other. God is the latter; the assumption that there must be a male/female/intergendered/nongendered/omnisexual being outside of our normal realm of existence, with the power to create the universe, who watches us every day and makes sure to mark down on his list who has been naughty and who has been nice, and may grant you gifts of miracles if you pray for them, or even if you do not, who sends people to hell if they do X and Y, but not if they do Z afterwards, is not based on inductive reasoning, unless your definition of inductive reasoning has no standards.

    One might say, my handle is Askthepizzaguy, therefore I must be Jewish. That has no basis in fact, or logic, really.

    One might say, my handle is Askthepizzaguy, therefore I might either A) Like pizza, or B) have delivered or made pizza before, or C) like naming myself random things. But those are all assumptions. They might be more valid than an assumption that is based on no reasoning whatsoever.

    Whether they are TRUE or not, that's a different story. God may be true, without any reason for it. But without any reason for it, I have no reason to believe in it other than "God may smote me", but to follow that line of reasoning is to then ALSO believe in the Fire-Breathing Leprechaun, Lucky Be His Name, because he might ALSO smote you. So again, why should I believe in things that are baseless? If I do, I must believe in everything that is baseless, otherwise people might rightly ask me, if you believe in Jehovah, why do you not also believe in the Leprechaun, and the Unicorn, and the great flying pasta deity? Why do we NOT dress in full pirate regalia in order to please him? We have the same reasons to do that as we do for believing in Jehovah, or any other Gods.

    Meanwhile I have plenty of reasons to eat; because I am hungry, and pattern recognition shows that if I eat, I will no longer be hungry. One is more reasonable an assumption than the other.

    The rules may change; one day I may die if I eat, and I might die unless I believe in God. But I am forced to believe the opposite, because if I decide to test the assumptions I have made, I may starve to death. That's an entirely valid way to live; every living person makes these assumptions. When you can break the laws of physics, demonstrate immortality, perform provable, repeatable miracles, then come talk to me about the supernatural. Until then, induction works just fine, and we require it for our survival, and BECAUSE of that fact, there is a reason to believe in things which are reasonable, and not believe in things which are not based on anything but random guesses.

    Induction and random guesses are two different things, in my view. You can challenge me on that, but you will dive into the realm of absurdity in order to do so. And once we go there, I will whip out the stalemate card, because endless absurdity challenging further endless absurdity is a stalemate.

    I foresee me using this image once more to drive home that point:
    Spoiler :
     
  7. lovett

    lovett Deity

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    My 'hypothesis' concerns tomorrow. That's a relative term; you'll never reach tomorrow because it's the day after today. You can test whether this sky is blue by looking outside. You can't test whether the sky will be blue tomorrow. You can only speculate, and I've shown that past events are no grounds for speculation.
     
  8. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    People for instance don't have special laws for homosexuals nor do they spread disinformation about evolution because the sky is blue. When the believe in God interacts with other people you bloody well need to justify your belief in God if you base that interaction on God or a holy book. If your belief in God is for personal enrichment, piece of mind or spiritual fulfilment, no such justification is needed, nor should it be asked.
     
  9. Askthepizzaguy

    Askthepizzaguy Know the Dark Side

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    God is either true or false.

    If God is true, then it affects me not at all. Because God, by itself, without any other assumption, is a "supernatural being, by definition outside of the natural world" and I live in the natural world. Without further definition of God, "God" is a meaningless concept that affects me not.

    Now, in order to turn God into something besides a hypothetical zero, I have to use random guessing.

    "God might hate homosexuality and declare it to be immoral, and may smote you if you disagree", is a random guess.

    This random guess is based on nothing; now, there is a book which contains laws written by man which says that God says certain things, but it also contains other laws those same religious people CONVENIENTLY IGNORE. And there's no reason to believe it came from God rather than man. Oh sure, there are reasons to believe it came from God, BUT, there is no evidence which shows it came from God RATHER THAN man, or RATHER THAN from the Great Fire-Breathing Leprechaun.

    So, I am forced to conclude that the assumptions about what God likes or dislikes are all random guesses and opinion. Random guesses are not inductive reasoning or any other kind of reasoning; random guesses are meaningless. If we believe in them, we have to have faith. But we also have to choose what we have faith in, because we could also have faith in the idea that God loves homosexuals and wants us all to be homosexual. Now the onus is on you to disprove that or accept that other people have other viewpoints about God, and that your viewpoint is no more valid than others'. Which is all well and good, until you demand that others accept your viewpoint, or try to make laws based on that viewpoint, or try to covert others to your view. The natural question to ask first is.... "WHY?"

    The answer: Because I believe it to be true.

    Meanwhile, I can eat to reduce my hunger, and this is valid because it is provable, tested, and predictable. Even if it is an assumption based on inductive reasoning. It is rational to base my life on provable, tested, predictable things, and irrational to base my life on baseless, random opinions and unprovable assumptions.
     
  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    You can't get to tomorrow by waiting?

    Cause I can
     
  11. cardgame

    cardgame Sensual Kitten

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    The sky is blue because of the interaction of the sun's light with our atmosphere...

    therefore unless something drastically changes the atmosphere (or the sun) you can conclude that the sky will be blue tomorrow.

    What are the odds of that happening? less than 50% I imagine.

    The sun is predicted to die in... billions or trillions of years after tomorrow.

    The atmosphere takes a long, long, long time to change;
    therefore tomorrow it will still have the same composition.
     
  12. Greizer85

    Greizer85 Emperor

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    Good morning. No surprises as regards progress... As predicted. :eek: :mischief:

    @askthepizzaguy: That something is required for our survival does not mean that it's logical from an objective pov. This is another colossal technicality, as is the whole issue of free will/choice (I believe you visited that thread also).

    I am of the opinion that logical-ness is not a value in itself (how could it be?), but only in so far as it serves humanity. And if illogical things serve it, they are fine too. That makes both induction and the concept of God just as valid.

    What of the benefits of God(s), then? Someone may well, say, succumb to torture if not for their belief in God. Faith is really the best thing to give you psychological strength imo. Then there is the aforementioned artistic angle. And belief that you'll get to continue life after death and maybe see what becomes of the world and your offspring/achievements, can give a lot of motivation for many people who'd otherwise say "Meh. What's the point? I'll just eat more cookies and watch some pr0n to go with it.". I dare say there are no such genuinely religious people, or at least very little.

    Sure, these benefits are, as we speak, outsripped by the hatred and violence that religions tend to inspire and encourage. But just because things are that way now, doesn't mean it will necessarily be the case in the future. (See what I did there? :mischief: I'd be sorry if it wasn't more convenient to be snide about it. :lol:) It is not faith itself that is to blame - only what we believe in. The only bad side of faith is that it tends to combat with reason and step into the arena of science where it is an inappropriate guest; one could say induction is the proper God of science. ;) With careful design of the God-concept, I'm pretty optimistic this could be avoided.


    Now, here are some other nice timelines for you, and for other logic enthusiasts (as per lovett's example, but this time partly in our familiar world):


    Timeline A: X----------------------------------T----------------------------------Y

    X = BIG BANG ~14 billlion yrs ago
    T= tomorrow (@warpus: not the day after this particular day, but after any day that we're currently living, now or in the future. Today is still yesterday's tomorrow, etc.)
    Y = End of the Universe (if applicable; this is irrelevant for the example)

    --- = current set of natural laws/values

    Timeline B: X----------------------------------T**************************Y

    The same as before, except exactly 10 am tomorrow morning:

    *** = another set of natural laws/values (say, the speed of light suddenly doubles, with all the wonderful benefits that it entails... Or not.)

    My question is basically the same as lovett's: how can you conclude from the fact that the natural laws have been the same for the last 14 billion years, that they will stay the same for any length of time counting from this very moment? How can you tell that we're on timeline A, as opposed to timeline B, from the current set of information? We cannot. As we do not have the whole set of data (we cannot see the future), even the probability of us living in either timeline cannot be assessed.

    Intuition and pragmatism are the only things that make us trust in induction. But they are both non-logical (in the strict deductive sense): intuition is itself based on induction, while pragmatism is neither here nor there: whether we live or die has no bearing on whether something is logical or not. So, you must admit, as must other who believe in induction, that you ultimately take it on faith and nothing else. Then comes the question: if it is more pragmatic/intuitive to believe in God than not believe, why not believe in it/Him? You may ofc argue that such a situation may never arise, and that is fine with me; as long as you acknowledge that induction is faith-based, then I'm a happy puppy. :D However, since you are you and no-one else, you shouldn't be fain to judge on what is practical or intuitive for others.

    As a final note: there is not anything in the natural laws themselves that sets them in stone for all time, is there? I never really thought about this even in Uni. If there is, I suspect it too is inductive in nature. Let's hear from our physicists, if there are any in this thread! :goodjob:
     
  13. lovett

    lovett Deity

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    Greizer has responded well to you’re stuff on induction so I’ll leave it at that. Suffice to say your belief that induction is necessary for survival is, naturally, inductive. The same issue has been raised previously.

    This point is far more interesting. Let’s consider this for a second; ‘God’ is a meaningless concept. The proposition ‘God exists’ is nonsensical. It’s like saying ‘love is purple’; completely meaningless.

    But by the same token it makes no sense to ascribe truth values to ‘God exists’. It’s like saying that the proposition ‘Snazaldoogle’ is false. This is not what we really mean to say; we want to say that it is nonsensical. One can’t ascribe true and false to nonsensical propositions because nonsensical propositions aren’t really propositions at all. They don’t mean anything.

    Similarly we can’t properly use the term ‘belief’ when describing our position towards God. Belief can only refer to propositions which have meaning, it is impossible to conceive of how one would believe in something meaningless. “I believe in Snazldoogle” makes as little sense as “I don’t believe in Snazaldoogle”. Belief is a predicate; it relies on a subject for meaning. By ascribing belief to something meaningless we are making belief meaningless. We are putting two things together which are impossible to combine. Similarly by saying ‘love is purple’ we are ascribing a colour to something that does not exist in such a way as it could conceivably have a colour. It is meaningless to put these concepts together.

    By the same reasoning we do not want to say “I don’t believe in God” or “God doesn’t exist” because these sentences make no sense.

    We want to say “God is nonsense”.


    Warpus, I really don't know how to explain the problem any better. Consider this me giving up. If your ever on Mastermind I'd suggest not picking 'Epistemology' as your specialist subject :)

    @Cardgame: all your premises are inductive. I'm rather bored of explaining the problem of induction by now. If you're interested I posted a full explanation and illustration about two pages back.
     
  14. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Now that we've settled that, can we think of any religions that didn't try to offer proof (historically)? All the religions I'm familiar with have stories of people being offered proof
     
  15. cardgame

    cardgame Sensual Kitten

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    If 'tomorrow' never becomes 'today' there's no point in speculating about it.

    What's wrong with induction?

    What does it have to do with atheism/theism anyway?!
     
  16. shadow2k

    shadow2k Emperor

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    Was raised Jewish, had Christians in the immediate family as well. So we get X-max presents wrapped in Hannukah type wrapping paper at X-mas Dinner with Jewish food. Yeah, confused me too.

    When I became old enough to actually start questioning religion, it simply made no sense to me, especially after reading up on all the different religions, both modern and ancient.

    I don't really care if other people believe in gods. I think they're nuts, but that's just my opinion. I generally keep my thoughts about religion to myself, except when asked. I just wish everyone else did the same.
     
  17. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Well, not technically, but other pieces have to be in the way.

    Anywayz, I'm atheist for the same reason I don't vote. None of the candidates strike me as very real. ;)
     
  18. Enkidu Warrior

    Enkidu Warrior Ultramagnetic

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    I still don't accept the comparison, because while I may be compelled to act in a manner consistent with an acceptance of induction, I do not believe in it - in fact I am aware of the contradiction. I don't, and perhaps can't prove induction as valid and so the position I take is the only one that seems intellectually sound - I don't know.

    Of course I've no idea how I might act on this in a way that would satisfy you that I'm not equivalent to someone with an unjustified religious belief, but I accept that induction is unsound as I currently understand it. I'd happily consider acting on this, if I had the slightest idea where to start. Our brains are clearly built on induction, but they are apparently capable of perceiving the flaws that this represents.

    Uncertainty is only a threat to a rational view of the universe if we despair at realising it and in our despair cling to the certainty of our scientific outlook (failing to remember that certainty and science do not walk together) and in doing so draw the equivalence between our rational scientific outlook and it's nemesis.

    I must ackowledge that your arguments have been rather shamefully successful at teasing irrational claims out of the others, but then they should never have accepted your premises.
     
  19. Greizer85

    Greizer85 Emperor

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    I would like to point out that although most (all?) religions that exist now claim absolute, certain, immutable knowledge, that does not have to be the case. There could be a religion where it said in the holy book "The likelyhood that this particular God exists is 90%"". Granted that the lure of such religion may not be nearly as strong as the current ones'. ;) Furthermore, to posit "God exists" is not the same thing as to say "this is certainly how He is; and He cannot ever change".



    One might say that the only rational position is to be an agnostic regarding both induction and god(s). But induction's truthfulness is a useful assumption for science. Why not assume that God is true - if it helps you and is not harmful to others? Logically these two are equivalent, whether they're beliefs or assumptions.

    As a final note, the very rationality of science rests on whether induction is valid or not. :p
     
  20. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    If you mean me personally, I don't see how assuming God is true (or false for that matter) helps (or harms ... you get my drift) me in any way. If you mean "if it helps you" as a condition, sure knock yourself out, whatever works for you. (I'm hoping this is what you're tunnelling at) But, if you mean Induction is a useful assumption to science as a reason to assume God is true, the difference is results.

    The assumptions science has made, made it possible for us to discuss this using computers, electrons and a lot of other things which I wouldn't be able to explain at full, but their effects are tangible. This is lacking in the assumption "God is true". It becomes an irrelevant assumption akin to "why not assume there's a teapot in orbit around Neptune"
     

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