View Poll Results: Religious Predilections

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  • Theists (All religions, beliefs with commonly accepted deities)

    16 41.03%
  • Fence-sitter (Dunno, Jury's out, Catch-all dribble bucket, Can I have another option)

    4 10.26%
  • Atheist

    19 48.72%
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  1. #16
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    So you hold the view that the existence of all gods can be disproved empirically?
    No, I hold the view that the concept "God exists" is a contradiction in terms given the meaning of the term "exists", and is both false and meaningless before we even get near empiricism. This argument applies only to all-powerful Gods; for other sorts of Gods we can move onto empiricism.

    For the record I also hold that empiricism provides no evidence, but since it also provides no evidence that 2+2 = 69783454623i, this is really not surprising.

  2. #17
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    No, I hold the view that the concept "God exists" is a contradiction in terms given the meaning of the term "exists", and is both false and meaningless before we even get near empiricism. This argument applies only to all-powerful Gods; for other sorts of Gods we can move onto empiricism.
    Let me try to rearrange into a form that makes sense to me...

    You hold that there exists a deductive philosophical argument which proves via contradiction that an all-powerful god cannot exist?
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  3. #18
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    If this turns into another Clock Not Adding Increment, I'm calling the cops
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  4. #19
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Duggan
    If this turns into another Clock Not Adding Increment, I'm calling the cops
    Relax, just interested in Kevin's position in a way that I can understand. And besides... we are the cops.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  5. #20
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  6. #21
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    You hold that there exists a deductive philosophical argument which proves via contradiction that an all-powerful god cannot exist?
    Yes, although whether I'm up to framing it explicitly is another question.

    I should have been more specific and noted that no particular all-powerful God "exists". Whether it is logically possible for an all-powerful God to "exist" provided it is not specified as any particular example of the genre may not be so clear.

    The problem as I see it is that the concept "existence" is empirical - something exists if it can, at least in theory, be inferred from its empirical effects on something else. But the existence of any specific all-powerful God can never be thus inferred, because the evidence for such a God could never be distinguished from the evidence for a different kind of all-powerful God pretending to be it, for reasons that would of course be beyond our comprehension. Therefore no specific proposed model of all-powerful God "exists".

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Yes, although whether I'm up to framing it explicitly is another question.

    I should have been more specific and noted that no particular all-powerful God "exists". Whether it is logically possible for an all-powerful God to "exist" provided it is not specified as any particular example of the genre may not be so clear.

    The problem as I see it is that the concept "existence" is empirical - something exists if it can, at least in theory, be inferred from its empirical effects on something else. But the existence of any specific all-powerful God can never be thus inferred, because the evidence for such a God could never be distinguished from the evidence for a different kind of all-powerful God pretending to be it, for reasons that would of course be beyond our comprehension. Therefore no specific proposed model of all-powerful God "exists".
    This is what I understand your position to be. It is logically possible that it is the case that there exists an all powerful being. However it is not possible to know any of the properties of such a being beyond that it is all powerful. So we cannot say of such a being if it wishes us to be Christian or Muslim. Is this roughly right?

  8. #23
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mangafranga
    This is what I understand your position to be. It is logically possible that it is the case that there exists an all powerful being. However it is not possible to know any of the properties of such a being beyond that it is all powerful. So we cannot say of such a being if it wishes us to be Christian or Muslim. Is this roughly right?
    I'd only say it may be logically possible. I suspect if I think about it for another few minutes I'll come up with some kind of argument involving the difficulties of distinguishing between an all-powerful being and a nearly all-powerful being that renders the statement "an all-powerful being exists" just as false as "a specific all-powerful being, the Christian God as defined by Jono, exists".

    The critical issue is the being's ability to create deceptions at will. If someone says "I believe a being exists which is all powerful except that it has no ability to alter the perceptions or memories of its creations" then I'll admit that as a logically meaningful, if empirically very likely to be false concept, and ask them what their empirical evidence for it is.

    "How do you know there's not an all-powerful God?" strikes me as one of those no-brainers like "How do you know you're not a brain in a vat?"

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I'd only say it may be logically possible.
    OK, I was unsure on this point because of your previous posts. What I was interested in (tonight anyway) was if you were providing an argument about knowledge or about logical possibility. I think it is about knowledge.

    I think what you are providing is an attempt to show either that A)if god we can't say anything about him anyway or B)"god" is a meaningless concept or something close to one of these two (some kind of logical positivist argument maybe?) Of course you do leave open the option that it is logically impossible that there exists a god.

  10. #25
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like we're infringing on the question of whether God (any God) can have properties, and if so, whether God can lack any properties ... and therefore, whether a God who lacks properties is actually God at all ...
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  11. #26
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Duggan
    If this turns into another Clock Not Adding Increment, I'm calling the cops
    I'm glad that you brought this up, because I think something was missed in that debate: Is 0 sec/move an increment?
    [/trolling]
    meep meep

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    I'm glad that you brought this up, because I think something was missed in that debate: Is 0 sec/move an increment?
    [/trolling]
    Any working clock should be adding -1 second increments 60 times a second
    [/troll feeding]

  13. #28
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Caaaaaaarn Bill & Denis et al! Let's have ya!
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  14. #29
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Duggan
    Caaaaaaarn Bill & Denis et al! Let's have ya!
    I suppose a vote from Jono is hardly necessary?

  15. #30
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I suppose a vote from Jono is hardly necessary?
    My bad! Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarn Jono.
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

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