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I think we can make the positive claim that nothing like 'gods' exist

Jarhyn

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I know this probably just amounts to talking to the wind, but I think the tone of this thread has been more toxic than it needs to be. If anyone cares to take this comment to heart, I think it could help the discussion but, hey, I'm not your dad.

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in about some of the statements regarding whether or not we could be in a simulation.

(I guess I've been out of practice too long here at IIDB and don't know how to properly attribute this quote, but it was stated by Jarhyn.)
I rather think all that "proof" is spurious. Part of the reason why science cannot prove zero gods is in fact that science cannot prove we are not in a simulation, and simulations can allow events to be observed uncaused by internal simulation mechanics.

As I've acknowledged in a number of previous threads, I believe it is true that we cannot disprove the possibility of being within a simulation. However, I believe that it is necessary to axiomatically reject the possibility of being in a simulation in order to make any inferences or draw any conclusions.

My reasoning is that if we accept the possibility of being in a simulation, then absolutely everything is uncertain (up to and including apparently self-evident properties and laws such as the laws of identity and non-contradiction) and no coherent arguments can be made. If one does not expressly (and without evidence, I concede) reject the possibility of being in a simulation, then one is rendered utterly mute.

To tie this back to the OP, I'm inclined to agree in broad terms that entire classes of "gods" (at least many of those that have been described in the past) cannot exist. I think there is room for entities or concepts that are a bit more nebulous than your typical omni-god, such as "god is love", or "god is the universe", but I don't think those are the types of gods that Adam has asserted to be inconsistent with the current or future state of scientific understanding.

Ordinarily, statements like "there is a house" are not preceded by a lengthy list of the underlying assumptions that must be accepted to understand and agree with them. We don't say "assuming we're not in a simulation" and "assuming that some things are actually knowable" and "assuming that minds other than my own are real" and "assuming that I am not currently hallucinating", etc. Nevertheless, some of those often unspoken assumptions (and many others) are necessary for such statements to be intelligible, communicable and acceptable.

Now, nobody is obliged to adopt the same axioms as everyone else. Anyone may entertain the idea of our being in a simulation, but as I mentioned before, that cuts off any further statements or conclusions. I think, however, that if one accepts certain subsets of axioms (such as the aforementioned laws of identity and non-contradiction) then one must draw certain conclusions as a matter of necessity. As such, if one axiomatically accepts the basis of formal logic, then beings with certain self-contradictory properties (such as entire classes of gods) are necessarily impossible.

If one further accepts certain axioms or follows from them the presentation of credible evidence and the necessary implications of that evidence then I think I think Adam is correct that, even beyond logically impossible gods, there are others which are ascribed properties that are not and, arguably, can never be, consistent with our understanding of the universe (or are entirely separate from it and therefore meaningless).

There are, as Adam notes, no gaps in our understanding (assuming one accepts a series of axioms which allows one to participate in discussion and evaluate the implications of credible evidence) where entities ascribed certain properties or behaviors might fit. If someone rejects all of the axioms that lead from solipsism to coherent consideration of scientific and logical arguments, I think they are compelled to speak no further on any subject, for all is doubted. If, on the other hand, one accepts some or all of the axioms that allow one to coherently participate in science, logic and discussions thereof, they must admit that certain types of gods to which are attributed logically impossible or physically impossible (i.e. those requiring the upending of the entire corpus of scientific knowledge to date) cannot exist.

Frankly, I don't think it should be as contentious of a statement as it has been taken to be. I'll hazard an attempt at combining my argument with Adam's.

If one accepts conclusions established through the exercise of logic and the scientific method (and that by dint of accepting certain underlying axioms and the necessary implications thereof) then that implies that there are logically and physically impossible classes of gods. If one rejects the impossibility of these classes of gods then it can only be by virtue of rejecting one of the underlying axioms or conclusions which they entail. Depending on the axioms or conclusions that are rejected, one is at best not talking about the same thing or, at worst, excluded from scientific discussions (if the verity of evidence or conclusions are rejected) or even from discussions at all (if the possibility of being in a simulation [or similar possibilities] are entertained).
And my point is that axiomatic rejection of simulation is not necessary. Merely the possibility of not implies we ought operate as if we are not.

Axiomatic rejection is simply not necessary, when "rejection unto evidence" is sufficient.

Zero being in "zero or more" gets you there to where you wish to be without dogmatic bullshit attached.

Further, "or more" allows putting together such ideas as "even if this is a simulation, there's nothing that says the god is good".

In some ways it prepares the person who holds this for what to do in the event the person is wrong, and for how to argue their position with someone who believes "or more", and who cannot be shaken from "or more".

Such persons recognize the inherent dishonesty in "exactly zero" even if they are unsure entirely how to articulate the exact nature of why such declarations of absolute are problematic, and you will never get them from "or more" to "exactly zero", nor should you try.

I can hold up a concrete proof that "gods are under no obligation to be good, so why should I care even if there is?"

I can hold up a concrete proof that "zero is still an open possibility on the table: no concrete causal adjacencies have been recorded, even as we look intently for them."

I can hold up concrete proof that every "spiritual" and "magical" claim is explained well through material mechanism, including the evidence that most point to to claim positively that there is a god; it does not prove what they think it proves.

But I know that if I try to claim "zero," I will be answered with claims which are similar to the ones I make here, for similar reasons, although drawn to incorrect conclusions (so to draw a line to 'or more'). Why would they not reject such spurious claims? I can reject them easily and I am practically an atheist.

So I seek not to post on stupid hills that cannot and should not be defended, such as the hill the OP stands on. I don't need that hill nor do I want it. It is a hill the creationist dies on all the same.
If you have a coherent point to make, why obscure it in this word salad jumble?

From what I can glean, you seem to be saying, "If I can imagine a possibility, that is enough to say something is possible".

To add to this you suggest, "If someone doesn't accept my urbane solipsism then they are like dull creationists".... sorry but the world doesn't work like that... Facts, evidence and scientific consensus exists.

God claims are (mostly) claims about how the universe operates and are squarely in the realm of scientific investigation.
Facts exist, evidence exists, widely observed material effects clearly exist.

You are the one departing from those things when you try to claim "exactly zero". You are engaging in wishful philosophy as much as the creationist.

Your imagining of what other people's God claims are about does not make it so.

The basic fundamental core of the God claims I encounter among the religious is exactly targeting "we cannot know", because you can't prove a negative through science, and when you pretend you can, rather than just leaning on the burden of proof, you just look a bit silly.

However, if that possibility is not rejected, I believe that the only coherent position one can take is to assign indefinite truth values to every possible statement.
Well, it certainly means accepting such ideas as "I'm right until I'm wrong" and "trust but verify".

And in terms of axiomatic systems, we can absolutely assemble modal statements that lead to contingent truths. I can absolutely say, in all confidence that it is true "a creator god is not guaranteed to be good".

It does mean that one gets to forever cast doubt on their understanding of the world, as they ought, because doubt is the foundation of all improvement of understanding.

It means being strategic and critical with doubt, and so to apply the scientific method, and to be rigorous. It means looking at the properties of the universe and seeing if you can spot anomalies or aberrations against your understanding, and it means being able to reconfigure your understanding when you discover it is wrong.

This is what the atheist ostensibly asks the creationist to do, so why would the atheist reject the expectation of such?

I am, for all intents and purposes, an atheist. I do not believe in a creator god. I do not believe any of the things called God or worshipped as gods deserve such, nor deserve such a title. I do recognize that to ask someone else to assign indefinite truth to some aspect of their understanding, you have to show your understanding is vulnerable nor afraid of such.
 

AdamWho

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If you have a coherent point to make, why obscure it in this word salad jumble?

From what I can glean, you seem to be saying, "If I can imagine a possibility, that is enough to say something is possible".

To add to this you suggest, "If someone doesn't accept my urbane solipsism then they are like dull creationists".... sorry but the world doesn't work like that... Facts, evidence and scientific consensus exists.

God claims are (mostly) claims about how the universe operates and are squarely in the realm of scientific investigation.
Facts exist, evidence exists, widely observed material effects clearly exist.

You are the one departing from those things when you try to claim "exactly zero". You are engaging in wishful philosophy as much as the creationist.

Your imagining of what other people's God claims are about does not make it so.

The basic fundamental core of the God claims I encounter among the religious is exactly targeting "we cannot know", because you can't prove a negative through science, and when you pretend you can, rather than just leaning on the burden of proof, you just look a bit silly.

At no time did I say the words "exactly zero"... you are constructing a strawman. You have failed to understand the argument. What I did say is that given the characteristics of the gods I described in the OP, we can positively rule out the existence of those gods. If you would like to come up with a class of gods which isn't covered by my examples or trivial, then bring it. I cannot read your mind.

If you want to define a god as "that which we don't know", then I would argue that

1. That isn't a god anybody actually cares about; the kind that people worship, passes laws for, knocks on door, or kill people over.

2. You have just renamed "things we don't know" as a god... Therefor god exists? That is exactly the trivial redefinition I am talking about

3. At best this theoretical god is a deist god, which I already addressed.
 

Jarhyn

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If you have a coherent point to make, why obscure it in this word salad jumble?

From what I can glean, you seem to be saying, "If I can imagine a possibility, that is enough to say something is possible".

To add to this you suggest, "If someone doesn't accept my urbane solipsism then they are like dull creationists".... sorry but the world doesn't work like that... Facts, evidence and scientific consensus exists.

God claims are (mostly) claims about how the universe operates and are squarely in the realm of scientific investigation.
Facts exist, evidence exists, widely observed material effects clearly exist.

You are the one departing from those things when you try to claim "exactly zero". You are engaging in wishful philosophy as much as the creationist.

Your imagining of what other people's God claims are about does not make it so.

The basic fundamental core of the God claims I encounter among the religious is exactly targeting "we cannot know", because you can't prove a negative through science, and when you pretend you can, rather than just leaning on the burden of proof, you just look a bit silly.

At no time did I say the words "exactly zero"... you are constructing a strawman. You have failed to understand the argument. What I did say is that given the characteristics of the gods I described in the OP, we can positively rule out the existence of those gods. If you would like to come up with a class of gods which isn't covered by my examples or trivial, then bring it. I cannot read your mind.

If you want to define a god as "that which we don't know", then I would argue that

1. That isn't a god anybody actually cares about; the kind that people worship, passes laws for, knocks on door, or kill people over.

2. You have just named "things we don't know" as a god... Therefor god exists? That is exactly the trivial redefinition I am talking about

3. At best this theoretical god is a deist god, which I already addressed.
"Exactly zero" is a restatement of the OP's titular claim: making a positive claim that there are none, and nothing of "anything like".

If you wish to make lesser claims than your title, make lesser claims in your title. This has been my contention, that you use evidence of a weak claim to bolster a ridiculous claim.

Instead of making such ridiculous claims, I make more reasonable ones, ones that do not stand on the same ridiculous language of your OP title: there are zero or more creator gods.

I can always drag the religious believer to acknowledge the implications of 0 being in that set, and the meaningless of "or more" in any approach to recommendations on behavior, and as you point out, the triviality and uselessness of other concepts of 'god', given better names which refer more directly to formal impersonal materialistic and mathematical notions.

I can't do that if I stamp my feet and say "we can say this empirically: exactly zero", I would be acting like an ass and a fool.

I would be displaying exactly as much faith, in doing so, as the religious believer, and then it would be unreasonable to ask them to doubt their beliefs with me.

I do not name what we do not know "god". I name it "that which we do not know" and I'm unafraid of it in those terms, but moreover I accept that most of what I do know is in that box too. I encourage others to do the same, and if they feel a need to worship, fuel that with "the act of expressing doubt on every belief you hold, and with a broad section of peers, such that those beliefs which do not survive the razor of doubt are left behind; worship through growth of self-critical understanding".

Generally, claims involving "god: creator of our experience of the universe" end up on the floor for exactly the reasons that "there is no evidence and simpler explanations that don't involve that are available; your concept does not survive critical understanding."

Sometimes those claims are useful and are not so easily dismissed: "IF there is a god: creator of our experience of the universe, they are under no obligation to understand philosophy or ethics any better than a human, and they might even be a right shit."

This means that "it is right because Gawd Sez" goes right out the window.

Such metaphysical claims are proven by the direct observation of this existing, as a fact, pertaining to a given simulated universe. Those stay on the table, because no razor can cut logical proofs, assuming the logic is sound, which it is and trivially so, in observation of the genuine article.

And so the conclusion that most religious believers are trying to sell, "Gawd Sez", becomes directly assailable with honest rhetoric.
 

connick

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However, if that possibility is not rejected, I believe that the only coherent position one can take is to assign indefinite truth values to every possible statement.
Well, it certainly means accepting such ideas as "I'm right until I'm wrong" and "trust but verify".

And in terms of axiomatic systems, we can absolutely assemble modal statements that lead to contingent truths. I can absolutely say, in all confidence that it is true "a creator god is not guaranteed to be good".

It does mean that one gets to forever cast doubt on their understanding of the world, as they ought, because doubt is the foundation of all improvement of understanding.

It means being strategic and critical with doubt, and so to apply the scientific method, and to be rigorous. It means looking at the properties of the universe and seeing if you can spot anomalies or aberrations against your understanding, and it means being able to reconfigure your understanding when you discover it is wrong.

This is what the atheist ostensibly asks the creationist to do, so why would the atheist reject the expectation of such?

I am, for all intents and purposes, an atheist. I do not believe in a creator god. I do not believe any of the things called God or worshipped as gods deserve such, nor deserve such a title. I do recognize that to ask someone else to assign indefinite truth to some aspect of their understanding, you have to show your understanding is vulnerable nor afraid of such.
To me, this seems me like a case of having one's cake and eating it too.

As I've conceded, it is quite possible that we are in a simulation. However, if that is possible than that implies that everything is potentially false. One could not then state, "I think therefore I am" or "something cannot be itself and not itself" or "1 + 1 = 2" or anything at all. Each and every possible statement could be countered by the possibility that we are deceived. "It could be a simulation," would soundly counter every argument ever made or that could ever be made. Would you agree with that?

Treating all statements as contingent truths, with the contingency being whether or not we are in a simulation, represents the same problem in a slightly different form. Instead of rejecting simulation hypotheses as an axiom, we'd just be saying "if it's true we could be in a simulation then we cannot know anything but, if it's not true that we could be in a simulation, we may be able to know something". Functionally, I think they are equivalent, but not if one wants to play both sides of the contingency in an argument.

One cannot debate the merits of an argument like Adam's, which depends upon simulation hypotheses being impossible and, while doing so, rely on the contingency that simulation hypotheses might be true. I guess what I'm saying is, if you object to his argument on the basis that we could be in a simulation, then that is the maximum extent of your objections. You would be unable to invoke logic or evidence of any kind because those are all completely undercut by the simulation objection.

And, if it is the case that you object on the basis that we could be in a simulation I think the honest response from Adam should be to say, "yes, we could be in a simulation, but assuming we cannot be in a simulation..." If, then, you wished to continue to meaningfully participate you would be limited to either accepting the assumption that we cannot be in a simulation or confined to the single and, admittedly unassailable, objection that we could be in a simulation.

So, to wrap back around to what I mean by having and eating your cake, if you are inclined to argue with Adam using logic, evidence, or any type of appeal you might like, you're more than welcome to (not that you need my permission, of course). However, as soon as you use the objection that we could be in a simulation, the rest of your objections (any statements at all really) are immediately null and void. You can't hold as true that we could possibly be in a simulation and hold anything else as true at the same time. The latter seems to be what you have done, but I would be happy to be corrected as far as your position is concerned and do not wish to misrepresent what you are trying to say.
 

AdamWho

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"Because we could be in a simulation we cannot know anything for certain... Including the validity of this sentence!!"

Let me know when you get past philosophy 101.

Or maybe you could find some non-trivial category of gods which people actually think are gods that isn't covered by the OP
 

Jarhyn

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However, if that is possible than that implies that everything is potentially false
No, it doesn't. It implies that we are and have been exactly what we are, as we are, all this time even if there is more "under" it than we first expected.

It does not rob us of the lives we have lived or the thoughts we have had, or the ways we have thought those thoughts though it does imply we could be a little less forceful of our declarations.

We lose nothing, none of our truth or our reality, assuming that the thing is not just shut off one day.

It does acknowledge that we can be wildly wrong about certain things, but I think that is a healthy perspective to take, that one may be wildly wrong about some things. My being a thinking, existing, entity doesn't change just by the discovery of deeper fields of physical interactions than quarks and gluons and the like.

I could not encourage some Christian to think they are wildly wrong about some things if I cannot accept the same of myself.
 

bilby

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any new discoveries are largely limited to refinements of existing understanding or, in the case of new discoveries that upend science as we know it, that they could not result in opening up a gateway for certain classes of gods to exist
It's in the nature of the scientific method that it shuts down, rather than opening up, possibilities.

This is counterintuitive for people who look at the advancement of technology, that builds on 'new scientific findings', but it is nevertheless true at a fundamental level.

Before science, anything is possible. Science works by ruling out as impossible, those things that can be shown to be impossible. That's what falsifying an hypothesis is.

As a result, new and revolutionary theories that 'upend science as we know it' must incorporate the established old science. When Einstein overturned Newton's gravitational theories, rocks didn't start falling upwards; Rather, the results reported by Newton remained as the core of Einstein's results - Einstein's equations include Newton's equations as highly accurate solutions in a very wide range of conditions, and then explain far better those edge cases where Newton's equations gave results that diverged measurably from observation.

Any radical new physics (such as a grand theory unifying Relativity and Quantum Mechanics) would, in order not to be instantly self refuting, have to incorporate the results given by those existing theories in the realms where these are well tested against observation.

The Standard Model rules out unknown interactions at human scales; And any new physics would necessarily incorporate the Standard Model, at least at those scales at which it has been rigorously tested.

New theories that contradict the Standard Model under the conditions for which we have experimental confirmation are already proven to be wrong.

It's clear, given the severe problems with unifying QM and Relativity, that there exists physics we do not yet understand at all. But it's equally clear that any discovery of that currently unknown physics will not result in rocks that fall upwards, nor in currently unknown fundamental forces that are important at human scales.

There cannot be a new theory that renders such things possible, unless our existing theories are wildly and obviously wrong. They're not. We checked.
 

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It's in the nature of the scientific method that it shuts down, rather than opening up, possibilities.

This is counterintuitive for people who look at the advancement of technology, that builds on 'new scientific findings', but it is nevertheless true at a fundamental level.
Is there any scientist who wouldn’t revel in proving most other scientists “wrong” about something? It really is the motivational foundation for advancements, especially in cosmology and physics.
 

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It's in the nature of the scientific method that it shuts down, rather than opening up, possibilities.

This is counterintuitive for people who look at the advancement of technology, that builds on 'new scientific findings', but it is nevertheless true at a fundamental level.
Is there any scientist who wouldn’t revel in proving most other scientists “wrong” about something? It really is the motivational foundation for advancements, especially in cosmology and physics.
Absolutely. But I don't see that this has anything to do with what I wrote.

The motivation of scientists is irrelevant. You can only prove something wrong if it's wrong.

Without access to the scientific method, there's nothing to constrain ideas - anything we can imagine is possible. Science is the process of reducing the number of possible things, by showing individual hypotheses to be impossible.

Science is the process of reducing the number of things we are able to justify imagining that we might be able to do.
 

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I don't see that this has anything to do with what I wrote.
I wrote it as a contrast to creationists and crackpots fixated on proving that their god or conspiracy theory is true (based on mutual assurances). Have you noticed how creationists of different stripes are reticent to voice their differences?
 

AdamWho

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any new discoveries are largely limited to refinements of existing understanding or, in the case of new discoveries that upend science as we know it, that they could not result in opening up a gateway for certain classes of gods to exist
It's in the nature of the scientific method that it shuts down, rather than opening up, possibilities.

This is counterintuitive for people who look at the advancement of technology, that builds on 'new scientific findings', but it is nevertheless true at a fundamental level.

Before science, anything is possible. Science works by ruling out as impossible, those things that can be shown to be impossible. That's what falsifying an hypothesis is.

As a result, new and revolutionary theories that 'upend science as we know it' must incorporate the established old science. When Einstein overturned Newton's gravitational theories, rocks didn't start falling upwards; Rather, the results reported by Newton remained as the core of Einstein's results - Einstein's equations include Newton's equations as highly accurate solutions in a very wide range of conditions, and then explain far better those edge cases where Newton's equations gave results that diverged measurably from observation.

Any radical new physics (such as a grand theory unifying Relativity and Quantum Mechanics) would, in order not to be instantly self refuting, have to incorporate the results given by those existing theories in the realms where these are well tested against observation.

The Standard Model rules out unknown interactions at human scales; And any new physics would necessarily incorporate the Standard Model, at least at those scales at which it has been rigorously tested.

New theories that contradict the Standard Model under the conditions for which we have experimental confirmation are already proven to be wrong.

It's clear, given the severe problems with unifying QM and Relativity, that there exists physics we do not yet understand at all. But it's equally clear that any discovery of that currently unknown physics will not result in rocks that fall upwards, nor in currently unknown fundamental forces that are important at human scales.

There cannot be a new theory that renders such things possible, unless our existing theories are wildly and obviously wrong. They're not. We checked.
This is such a difficult thing for people to understand. It is because they confuse 'technology' and 'science'. Technology opens up possibilities whereas scientific discoveries rule-out possibilities.

My statistic students frame it as "why do we 'fail to reject the null hypothesis rather than accept it?"
 

connick

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any new discoveries are largely limited to refinements of existing understanding or, in the case of new discoveries that upend science as we know it, that they could not result in opening up a gateway for certain classes of gods to exist
It's in the nature of the scientific method that it shuts down, rather than opening up, possibilities.

This is counterintuitive for people who look at the advancement of technology, that builds on 'new scientific findings', but it is nevertheless true at a fundamental level.

Before science, anything is possible. Science works by ruling out as impossible, those things that can be shown to be impossible. That's what falsifying an hypothesis is.

As a result, new and revolutionary theories that 'upend science as we know it' must incorporate the established old science. When Einstein overturned Newton's gravitational theories, rocks didn't start falling upwards; Rather, the results reported by Newton remained as the core of Einstein's results - Einstein's equations include Newton's equations as highly accurate solutions in a very wide range of conditions, and then explain far better those edge cases where Newton's equations gave results that diverged measurably from observation.

Any radical new physics (such as a grand theory unifying Relativity and Quantum Mechanics) would, in order not to be instantly self refuting, have to incorporate the results given by those existing theories in the realms where these are well tested against observation.

The Standard Model rules out unknown interactions at human scales; And any new physics would necessarily incorporate the Standard Model, at least at those scales at which it has been rigorously tested.

New theories that contradict the Standard Model under the conditions for which we have experimental confirmation are already proven to be wrong.

It's clear, given the severe problems with unifying QM and Relativity, that there exists physics we do not yet understand at all. But it's equally clear that any discovery of that currently unknown physics will not result in rocks that fall upwards, nor in currently unknown fundamental forces that are important at human scales.

There cannot be a new theory that renders such things possible, unless our existing theories are wildly and obviously wrong. They're not. We checked.
Thank you for further clarifying my position as well as, I think, Adam's.
 

Jarhyn

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It's in the nature of the scientific method that it shuts down, rather than opening up, possibilities.

This is counterintuitive for people who look at the advancement of technology, that builds on 'new scientific findings', but it is nevertheless true at a fundamental level.
Is there any scientist who wouldn’t revel in proving most other scientists “wrong” about something? It really is the motivational foundation for advancements, especially in cosmology and physics.
Absolutely. But I don't see that this has anything to do with what I wrote.

The motivation of scientists is irrelevant. You can only prove something wrong if it's wrong.

Without access to the scientific method, there's nothing to constrain ideas - anything we can imagine is possible. Science is the process of reducing the number of possible things, by showing individual hypotheses to be impossible.

Science is the process of reducing the number of things we are able to justify imagining that we might be able to do.
When science doesn't show something impossible (in fact when it shows it eminently possible) but merely "unnecessary to believe", that must be what the scientific mind ought accept.

That is not a "positive claim".

Science is, in most cases I have participated in, about figuring out other things that may be believed of the data and figuring out a test for which is more correct, and isolating the causal elements. Often this gives us MORE stuff we might imagine ourselves capable of doing, albeit in a different way than we first imagined it.

The scientific method only really tells us how things of our world work, and while the existence we have is unarguably real insofar as we exist in and of it...

It's just not necessarily all there is.

It is folly and silliness to attempt to assign more power to any thing than it has, be that thing science or metaphysics or what have you.

Religious folks make the mistake of assigning more value to "or more". People who make the titular declaration are assigning more value to "zero".

Neither is an honest position and there are whole retreats the religious go to where they actually focus on bringing that up. It is the one thing that all their arguments orbit around: that there is an uncertainty.

In this way, there is a Hypocrisy active among all those who would tell the religious "exactly zero" or "nothing 'like'".

I very much exist. I'm very much like the 'christian' god with respect to the universe I host. In fact this demonstrates that you don't have to 'created all determinism' to 'create a single determinism'

It leaves open questions like infinite regress. Still, we have observed containerization of isolated deterministic systems.

Science does not, cannot rule out THAT possibility. Science and technology in fact revealed it as a valid possibility of metaphysics. It also, in the same swipe revealed it as inconsequential to ethics, in PROVING that such "creator gods" are liable to be assholes and fuckups.

And it proves in a very real way that creating A universe does not mean you created EVERY universe.
 

AdamWho

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When science doesn't show something impossible (in fact when it shows it eminently possible) but merely "unnecessary to believe", that must be what the scientific mind ought accept.

That is not a "positive claim".

Science is, in most cases I have participated in, about figuring out other things that may be believed of the data and figuring out a test for which is more correct, and isolating the causal elements. Often this gives us MORE stuff we might imagine ourselves capable of doing, albeit in a different way than we first imagined it.

The scientific method only really tells us how things of our world work, and while the existence we have is unarguably real insofar as we exist in and of it...

It's just not necessarily all there is.

It is folly and silliness to attempt to assign more power to any thing than it has, be that thing science or metaphysics or what have you.

Religious folks make the mistake of assigning more value to "or more". People who make the titular declaration are assigning more value to "zero".

Neither is an honest position and there are whole retreats the religious go to where they actually focus on bringing that up. It is the one thing that all their arguments orbit around: that there is an uncertainty.

In this way, there is a Hypocrisy active among all those who would tell the religious "exactly zero" or "nothing 'like'".

I very much exist. I'm very much like the 'christian' god with respect to the universe I host. In fact this demonstrates that you don't have to 'created all determinism' to 'create a single determinism'

It leaves open questions like infinite regress. Still, we have observed containerization of isolated deterministic systems.

Science does not, cannot rule out THAT possibility. Science and technology in fact revealed it as a valid possibility of metaphysics. It also, in the same swipe revealed it as inconsequential to ethics, in PROVING that such "creator gods" are liable to be assholes and fuckups.

And it proves in a very real way that creating A universe does not mean you created EVERY universe.

I see, you have layers of speculation....

If god X is ruled-out of existing in our universe... then there are infinitely many speculative universes for such a god to exist (hide?). I would bet you will also claim these universes have different rules of logic so that contradictory gods (like Bible god) can exist.

Between claiming "infinite speculative universes" on one hand and solipsism on the other you can pretend to know something....

Once again, your imagination doesn't conjure actual gods into existence.
 

Jarhyn

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When science doesn't show something impossible (in fact when it shows it eminently possible) but merely "unnecessary to believe", that must be what the scientific mind ought accept.

That is not a "positive claim".

Science is, in most cases I have participated in, about figuring out other things that may be believed of the data and figuring out a test for which is more correct, and isolating the causal elements. Often this gives us MORE stuff we might imagine ourselves capable of doing, albeit in a different way than we first imagined it.

The scientific method only really tells us how things of our world work, and while the existence we have is unarguably real insofar as we exist in and of it...

It's just not necessarily all there is.

It is folly and silliness to attempt to assign more power to any thing than it has, be that thing science or metaphysics or what have you.

Religious folks make the mistake of assigning more value to "or more". People who make the titular declaration are assigning more value to "zero".

Neither is an honest position and there are whole retreats the religious go to where they actually focus on bringing that up. It is the one thing that all their arguments orbit around: that there is an uncertainty.

In this way, there is a Hypocrisy active among all those who would tell the religious "exactly zero" or "nothing 'like'".

I very much exist. I'm very much like the 'christian' god with respect to the universe I host. In fact this demonstrates that you don't have to 'created all determinism' to 'create a single determinism'

It leaves open questions like infinite regress. Still, we have observed containerization of isolated deterministic systems.

Science does not, cannot rule out THAT possibility. Science and technology in fact revealed it as a valid possibility of metaphysics. It also, in the same swipe revealed it as inconsequential to ethics, in PROVING that such "creator gods" are liable to be assholes and fuckups.

And it proves in a very real way that creating A universe does not mean you created EVERY universe.

I see, you have layers of speculation....

If god X is ruled-out of existing in our universe... then there are infinitely many speculative universes for such a god to exist (hide?). I would bet you will also claim these universes have different rules of logic so that contradictory gods (like Bible god) can exist.

Between claiming "infinite speculative universes" on one hand and solipsism on the other you can pretend to know something....
I think you're projecting a lot of your own insecurities.

You seem to read very little of what I post as I've covered all this and you seem to want me to be something I'm not just for the sake of wanting to argue.

You're going to be disappointed there.

No, I don't pose infinitely many universes or anything beyond this one or even that this universe needs a god.

These are all imaginings of your own, straw men that you like to attack.

I hold up this universe, I hold it up in a way that I say "we don't and cannot know what or if any thing is 'host' to it". I look at existing hostings of universe and I make some reasonable observations (that you can't actually use 'hostedness' to draw the conclusions that religious people wish to make), and then I stop.

There is no universe under any definition we ha e of "possibility" for a "real contradiction" to exist.

There is no way any universe like ours would potentially look like this one does while having "biblegod" as responsible for making it. Such strains credulity far beyond any reasonable breaking point.

It's interesting you bring solipsism into this though when none lives in my post. Nowhere have I said I created the universe, that the universe needs a creator, nor that the only thing that matters is self. In fact I espouse quite the opposite so it makes me wonder whether the solipsism you see comes instead from your mirror.

You're forgetting that I'm a materialist, and while I hold "zero or more", there's still that big "zero" in there that you keep conveniently forgetting about.
 

Elixir

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I see, you have layers of speculation....

If god X is ruled-out of existing in our universe... then there are infinitely many speculative universes for such a god to exist (hide?). I would bet you will also claim these universes have different rules of logic so that contradictory gods (like Bible god) can exist.
Lol!
Sure. Unlimited layers of speculation, reflecting unlimited layers of human experience … why not?
Is this thread now a contest for strongest atheism?
Jarhyn declares himself a “wizard” right there in the avatar box. You only lay claim to strong atheism. Which paradigm most effectively obviates any possible gods?
Only God knows.
I only know the futility of trying to disprove the existence of the presumably infinite set of “things that don’t exist”. :shrug:

Forgive me - it’s the drugs…
I think it’s most propitious to simply disprove what can be disproven in the course of normal living and exercise of curiosity, allowing whatever remains to have free exercise.
 

AdamWho

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I see, you have layers of speculation....

If god X is ruled-out of existing in our universe... then there are infinitely many speculative universes for such a god to exist (hide?). I would bet you will also claim these universes have different rules of logic so that contradictory gods (like Bible god) can exist.
Lol!
Sure. Unlimited layers of speculation, reflecting unlimited layers of human experience … why not?
Is this thread now a contest for strongest atheism?
Jarhyn declares himself a “wizard” right there in the avatar box. You only lay claim to strong atheism. Which paradigm most effectively obviates any possible gods?
Only God knows.
I only know the futility of trying to disprove the existence of the presumably infinite set of “things that don’t exist”. :shrug:

Forgive me - it’s the drugs…
I think it’s most propitious to simply disprove what can be disproven in the course of normal living and exercise of curiosity, allowing whatever remains to have free exercise.
You seem to want to restrict what can be known by science, thereby allowing... gods? Magic?

This is great for writing fiction but we are in a forum specifically about tackling the issue of the existence of gods.
 

Elixir

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You seem to want to restrict what can be known by science,
It is a common misperception that science works by proving things correct, when in fact it works by falsification. That which cannot be falsified can be provisionally accepted, but is never “proven true”. That’s why it is said that proof is for math and alcohol.
Strictly speaking, nothing is “known by science” as science is a methodology, not a body of data or an entity. The efficacy of that methodology speaks for itself. It may not be The Truth but it’s a closer approximation than anything else within our grasp.
I don’t see that as placing any restrictions on human experience.
 

skepticalbip

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You seem to want to restrict what can be known by science,
It is a common misperception that science works by proving things correct, when in fact it works by falsification. That which cannot be falsified can be provisionally accepted, but is never “proven true”. That’s why it is said that proof is for math and alcohol.
Strictly speaking, nothing is “known by science” as science is a methodology, not a body of data or an entity. The efficacy of that methodology speaks for itself. It may not be The Truth but it’s a closer approximation than anything else within our grasp.
I don’t see that as placing any restrictions on human experience.
That is true. It is the reason that science can show that many of the attributes of many of gods accepted by many can not exist... no 'poofing' humans into existence 6,000 years ago, no worldwide flood, etc., etc. It is also likely the reason that many who want to believe in gods refuse to describe their god in any detail. As long as they keep their "god" nebulous and undefined it can't be falsified. However a nebulous and undefined god is rather meaningless just as a glumpher would be. Both are only sounds with no real meaning. No one can show that glumphers can't exist because I haven't described what I imagine a glumpher to be.
 

steve_bank

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It is pretty interesting why many place gods and ghosts in a different category when it comes to evidence.

They are treated like Platonic Ideas rather than actual, testable claims about how the universe works.

Seriously, we can make strong testable claims about objects on the other side of the universe but when it comes to
made-up magical beings we have to get all philosophical about how we cannot really know anything...
As an engineer I worked with electromganetic fields. I made medurements of variable in terms od Systems International units like volatge and current. Electrstaic field models work in that they predct results based in SI units. Yet what an 'electric field is' is am unanswerable question . A field is a model based in arbitrary definitions based on the meter, kilogram, and second.

You could say scince is metaphysics tied to unambiguous physical definitions not subject to interpretation. All measurements in physical science are referenced to an SI unit. If something can not be expressed in SI units then it is philosophy and religion.

We can scientifically speculate what is going on in another galaxy because it is based on testable science. For scince to adress claims of gohsts a ghost would have to agree to sit still in a lab. If it could not be meadured the science can not adress it.

It is interesting that some atheists become as obsessed disprovinggods as theists do proving existence of gods.

Theist: I know god exists and I can prove it.
Atheist: I know god does not exist and I can prove it.
 

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I think the biggest value, the biggest bang for your buck against calls to worship any thing, and especially "creators of the universe", be that an assumption that this reality is somehow "hosted" or claims that "existence" go through a fundamental "god/creation epoch" is to recognize that we have proven, even without the necessity of showing that such an entity exists, without such an entity having to exist at all, to mathematical certainty through direct observation, that it is possible for such things as create universes, to be complete pieces of shit.

At that point, nobody trying to sell me a "god" has a chance.

At that point, leave your god nebulous and undefined, I have a fact that you cannot deny: your nebulous and undefined "creator god" can still be a complete piece of shit.
 

Elixir

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your nebulous and undefined "god" can still be a complete piece of shit.

IS a complete piece of shit.
Mark Twain had it right- god created man in his own image and man has been returning the favor ever since.
 

atrib

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I can't do that if I stamp my feet and say "we can say this empirically: exactly zero", I would be acting like an ass and a fool.
We can say that there is zero evidence that gods intervene in human lives, which makes it highly improbable that such gods exist. As to hypothetical gods that don't intervene in human lives, such gods are indistinguishable from gods that don't exist, and I spend no energy speculating about their existence and potential characteristics. Therefore, being the pragmatist that I am, I can say with a great deal of confidence that gods don't exist, at least the gods that matter, the gods that could fuck with my life.

I also spend no time worrying about the undetectable gremlins that live in my attic, nor do I ride around the internet trumpeting to one and all that I am agnostic when it comes to the existence of undetectable gremlins living in my attic. If that is the intellectual accomplishment you want to be known for, so be it, but such behavior makes you appear to be acting like an ass and a fool.
 

Jarhyn

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I can't do that if I stamp my feet and say "we can say this empirically: exactly zero", I would be acting like an ass and a fool.
We can say that there is zero evidence that gods intervene in human lives, which makes it highly improbable that such gods exist. As to hypothetical gods that don't intervene in human lives, such gods are indistinguishable from gods that don't exist, and I spend no energy speculating about their existence and potential characteristics. Therefore, being the pragmatist that I am, I can say with a great deal of confidence that gods don't exist, at least the gods that matter, the gods that could fuck with my life.

I also spend no time worrying about the undetectable gremlins that live in my attic, nor do I ride around the internet trumpeting to one and all that I am agnostic when it comes to the existence of undetectable gremlins living in my attic. If that is the intellectual accomplishment you want to be known for, so be it, but such behavior makes you appear to be acting like an ass and a fool.
Except you do spend your time riding around the internet trumpeting about undetectable gremlins.

I'm not saying I'm agnostic to such things, and again, anyone trying to sell me to others as being agnostic to such things, well, that's back in "ass" and "fool" territory.

I keep pointing out the existence of such is not necessary. Again, most of the conclusions you reach are reasonable: that it's unreasonable to ask others to care about such wild imaginings. I dare say convincing others it's unreasonable to ask others to care about such wild imaginings is entirely the point of my own exercises.

Invisible gremlins are, as you say, unnecessary and superfluous things. If someone wants to demonstrate one, you can say "bring me one". It's a good enough practice to ask anyone who claims sky friends or gremlins or invisible pink unicorns shows you one lest you disbelieve their claims.

My exercise is not to show these things are real. They almost assuredly are not. My exercise is to show people that even if they were, they can be assholes. Further to show that individuals who make positive claims that there are exactly zero are being religious for no good reason.

You are on an internet forum trumpeting just as loud as anyone here how certain you are that "there are exactly zero". This is the accomplishment YOU wish to seem to be known for...

I think it's far more reasonable to say "I'll believe you if you show me, to the extent I see there is a phenomena, even if I don't believe it is 'invisible gremlins' causing it." It doesn't matter the phenomena, really.

If one of those phenomena is a strong causal adjacency, then we get to rethink a number of things and I have no problem with that, it would not alter my philosophy on ethics.
 

steve_bank

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It is interesting that some atheists become as obsessed disprovinggods as theists do proving existence of gods.
Indeed. “Strong atheism” is overkill imho.
I ratherr thej launch into naturalism and feethought. I do not carry an atheist identity I don't have any need tp prove theists wrong, I am confortanle in my views and religion does not directly threten me.
 

steve_bank

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any new discoveries are largely limited to refinements of existing understanding or, in the case of new discoveries that upend science as we know it, that they could not result in opening up a gateway for certain classes of gods to exist
It's in the nature of the scientific method that it shuts down, rather than opening up, possibilities.

This is counterintuitive for people who look at the advancement of technology, that builds on 'new scientific findings', but it is nevertheless true at a fundamental level.

Before science, anything is possible. Science works by ruling out as impossible, those things that can be shown to be impossible. That's what falsifying an hypothesis is.

As a result, new and revolutionary theories that 'upend science as we know it' must incorporate the established old science. When Einstein overturned Newton's gravitational theories, rocks didn't start falling upwards; Rather, the results reported by Newton remained as the core of Einstein's results - Einstein's equations include Newton's equations as highly accurate solutions in a very wide range of conditions, and then explain far better those edge cases where Newton's equations gave results that diverged measurably from observation.

Any radical new physics (such as a grand theory unifying Relativity and Quantum Mechanics) would, in order not to be instantly self refuting, have to incorporate the results given by those existing theories in the realms where these are well tested against observation.

The Standard Model rules out unknown interactions at human scales; And any new physics would necessarily incorporate the Standard Model, at least at those scales at which it has been rigorously tested.

New theories that contradict the Standard Model under the conditions for which we have experimental confirmation are already proven to be wrong.

It's clear, given the severe problems with unifying QM and Relativity, that there exists physics we do not yet understand at all. But it's equally clear that any discovery of that currently unknown physics will not result in rocks that fall upwards, nor in currently unknown fundamental forces that are important at human scales.

There cannot be a new theory that renders such things possible, unless our existing theories are wildly and obviously wrong. They're not. We checked.
This is such a difficult thing for people to understand. It is because they confuse 'technology' and 'science'. Technology opens up possibilities whereas scientific discoveries rule-out possibilities.

My statistic students frame it as "why do we 'fail to reject the null hypothesis rather than accept it?"

There are people who use the word science withut undestanding it has no singular meaning.

There has never been a hatd line beyween science, technooy, and economics. That goes far back in history.

To some science is a professor sitting in his office writing equations on a whiteboard. Industrial science is both nvestigative and theorteical. Engineering as well.
 

bilby

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There are people who use the word science withut undestanding it has no singular meaning.
Whereas we, in contrast, are specifically and explicitly talking about the scientific method, which is a particular one of those meanings.

Introducing needless confusion and equivocation, as you have just done, does not improve the quality of the debate, and appears not to have any purpose at all in the current context.

Do you have a relevant point to make, or are you just pontificating as a knee-jerk response to seeing the word 'science'?
 

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I think those categories are so vague and ill defined that they could cover anything.

They cover literally all the gods that people worship and build religions around.

It is ok if you cannot think of other classes of gods.
And in order to cover all of that in so few categories, they become incredibly vague.

It would be like if I was to categorize the items in my house as "Disposable" and "Permanent." Things that I use and then replace (toothbrush, soap, food, etc) would be in the "disposable" category. Things that I keep (bed, television, oven) are "permanent."

But if I tell you that a particular item is in the "permanent" category, it doesn't actually give you much more information about it than you had before. More specific categories like "Electronics," or "seating," or "storage" are far more useful because they are not so vague.
 

Jarhyn

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I think those categories are so vague and ill defined that they could cover anything.

They cover literally all the gods that people worship and build religions around.

It is ok if you cannot think of other classes of gods.
And in order to cover all of that in so few categories, they become incredibly vague.

It would be like if I was to categorize the items in my house as "Disposable" and "Permanent." Things that I use and then replace (toothbrush, soap, food, etc) would be in the "disposable" category. Things that I keep (bed, television, oven) are "permanent."

But if I tell you that a particular item is in the "permanent" category, it doesn't actually give you much more information about it than you had before. More specific categories like "Electronics," or "seating," or "storage" are far more useful because they are not so vague.
Exactly right.

That's why I use such specifics as "god: creator and administrator of a simulation instance."

At that point, I have a very specific definition which has an immediately observable analog.

I can start making statements about such a thing, and those statements will have truth value.

"There are zero or more" ('zero' from observed lack of evidence; 'or more' from Godel's Incompleteness Theorem)

"They are under no obligation to be benevolent." (Proof by assuming and disproving inverse: I created a simulation instance and administrate it, and I AM AN ASSHOLE!)

"They do not have any impact on the derived rules of ethics from simulation mechanics"
(The game theory of existing as a denizen in a simulation has nothing to do with where the simulation came from; 'there is only the text')

So while I can't get to "zero" I CAN get to "why should I care?"
 
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