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What would count as proof of God

Copernicus

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Everyone knows universes can only come from somebody poofing them into reality. We've all seen it a million times.
No, we've all seen it exactly once.

I haven't seen somebody "poofing" a universe even once. It's unlikely anyone has.
Well, you have access to one universe, without a clear explanation as to its presence.
That's true, but how does that get us to a poofing god? Or is it "pooping"? That's another conceivable method of creating universes for a god, I suppose. :unsure:
 

Politesse

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Well, you have access to one universe, without a clear explanation as to its presence.

You just said we've all seen the poofing. Which is it?
Sorry, the universe was the "it" I was referring to. I'm not sure "poofing" is the most helpful descriptor of... anything. However, I'm interested in the basis of anyone's claim to know how the universe came into being. A sample set of one doesn't give you a lot to work with.
 

blastula

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Poofing is as good any theist's descriptor of the alleged act. And yes, a sample of one is a problem for the theist who argues that it's obvious that intentional poofing by some person is the only possible cause.
 

Elixir

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If every knee was to bend and every voice was to rise in praise, I might consider god(s)’ existence.
By even in that supremely unlikely event, why bother?
 

Politesse

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Poofing is as good any theist's descriptor of the alleged act. And yes, a sample of one is a problem for the theist who argues that it's obvious that intentional poofing by some person is the only possible cause.
Well, I didn't do that. But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.
 

Copernicus

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Poofing is as good any theist's descriptor of the alleged act. And yes, a sample of one is a problem for the theist who argues that it's obvious that intentional poofing by some person is the only possible cause.
Well, I didn't do that. But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.
It strikes me as perfectly reasonable, since a failure to come up with a valid description does not require one to provide an alternative. For starters, you have to specify what you mean by "universe". The observable universe that is said to have begun with the Big Bang may not be the actual physical universe, which is sometimes referred to as the "metaverse" (Praise be to Supreme Prophet Zuckerberg, who has foretold of its existence in the web!)
 

blastula

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Well, I didn't do that. But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.

The other group in this case does not a claim a comparable "we know what happened!" story.
 

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Well, you have access to one universe, without a clear explanation as to its presence.

You just said we've all seen the poofing. Which is it?
Sorry, the universe was the "it" I was referring to. I'm not sure "poofing" is the most helpful descriptor of... anything. However, I'm interested in the basis of anyone's claim to know how the universe came into being. A sample set of one doesn't give you a lot to work with.
The universe (meaning "everything that exists") either spontaneously began from nothing, or was always there.

"It was made by a God" is incoherent; The closest you can get to a coherent claim from that position is "It was once just a God, and that God made everything else". But then you have to ask where God came from; And if your claim is that God always existed, or that God began to exist from nothing, you need to explain why you feel the need for the extra step, in the complete absence of any evidence that it is necessary - and also explain why you don't feel the need for more than one un-evidenced and utterly pointless extra step.

God is a concept that adds exactly zero to our understanding of origins, while requiring assumptions for which there is zero basis.
 

Politesse

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Well, you have access to one universe, without a clear explanation as to its presence.

You just said we've all seen the poofing. Which is it?
Sorry, the universe was the "it" I was referring to. I'm not sure "poofing" is the most helpful descriptor of... anything. However, I'm interested in the basis of anyone's claim to know how the universe came into being. A sample set of one doesn't give you a lot to work with.
The universe (meaning "everything that exists") either spontaneously began from nothing, or was always there.

"It was made by a God" is incoherent; The closest you can get to a coherent claim from that position is "It was once just a God, and that God made everything else". But then you have to ask where God came from; And if your claim is that God always existed, or that God began to exist from nothing, you need to explain why you feel the need for the extra step, in the complete absence of any evidence that it is necessary - and also explain why you don't feel the need for more than one un-evidenced and utterly pointless extra step.

God is a concept that adds exactly zero to our understanding of origins, while requiring assumptions for which there is zero basis
Well, okay. But nothing adds to our understanding of origins. I don't actually see creation myths as being primarily about, or useful for, scientific inquiry into cosmology. But that also isn't the real reason we tell stories about the beginnings of things.
 

abaddon

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Religious tradition, for being around so long and believed by so many, makes "God made the universe" seem like a reasonable claim to consider. But it's silly to consider "hm, maybe that's possible" until after there's something better than him being the automatic "go to" all these centuries whenever mystery strikes.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Well, you have access to one universe, without a clear explanation as to its presence.
What do you mean? Isn't it there? It is isn't it? We are it too. What is the scientific reason that it can't just be there? Are you saying that magic god things can be there but not anything else? Please explain why you cannot accept that it is there.
 

Copernicus

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God is a concept that adds exactly zero to our understanding of origins, while requiring assumptions for which there is zero basis
Well, okay. But nothing adds to our understanding of origins. I don't actually see creation myths as being primarily about, or useful for, scientific inquiry into cosmology. But that also isn't the real reason we tell stories about the beginnings of things.

All you are saying is that people tell stories for various reasons, not always to propose a serious theory of cosmology. However, many of the stories are based on a cosmology that used to exist and was taken very seriously by the people who concocted the creation stories. And there are a lot of people out there who try to take some very primitive origin stories seriously. In the US, they even build theme parks dedicated to those stories. I don't see the sense in denying that creation myths are taken seriously, since it is easy to prove that they are even in modern times when people should know better. It is one thing to treat people who have a different understanding of reality respectfully, but that does not require one to take their origin myths seriously or as valid alternatives to theories based on what science has taught us about the universe.
 

atrib

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Poofing is as good any theist's descriptor of the alleged act. And yes, a sample of one is a problem for the theist who argues that it's obvious that intentional poofing by some person is the only possible cause.
Well, I didn't do that. But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.
So if you didn't know who ate the last cookie, it would be reasonable for you to accept the claim that the invisible green goblin ate it? You would have no problem with such a claim?

If we don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist. It is not reasonable to accept a claim that some supernatural entity outside the universe deliberately made it happen, when such a claim is not backed by sufficient evidence.
 

steve_bank

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Poofing is as good any theist's descriptor of the alleged act. And yes, a sample of one is a problem for the theist who argues that it's obvious that intentional poofing by some person is the only possible cause.
Well, I didn't do that. But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.
So if you didn't know who ate the last cookie, it would be reasonable for you to accept the claim that the invisible green goblin ate it? You would have no problem with such a claim?

If we don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist. It is not reasonable to accept a claim that some supernatural entity outside the universe deliberately made it happen, when such a claim is not backed by sufficient evidence.
Nicely put.
 

Politesse

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So if you didn't know who ate the last cookie, it would be reasonable for you to accept the claim that the invisible green goblin ate it? You would have no problem with such a claim?
If, as in this case, it was the only cookie that I or anyone else had ever encountered or interacted with? I think it would be hard to make reasonable conclusions about The Cookie, especially as it no longer exists and I have nothing at all to rationally compare it to.
 

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atrib

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Poofing is as good any theist's descriptor of the alleged act. And yes, a sample of one is a problem for the theist who argues that it's obvious that intentional poofing by some person is the only possible cause.
Well, I didn't do that. But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.
So if you didn't know who ate the last cookie, it would be reasonable for you to accept the claim that the invisible green goblin ate it? You would have no problem with such a claim?

If we don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist. It is not reasonable to accept a claim that some supernatural entity outside the universe deliberately made it happen, when such a claim is not backed by sufficient evidence.

So if you didn't know who ate the last cookie, it would be reasonable for you to accept the claim that the invisible green goblin ate it? You would have no problem with such a claim?
If, as in this case, it was the only cookie that I or anyone else had ever encountered or interacted with? I think it would be hard to make reasonable conclusions about The Cookie, especially as it no longer exists and I have nothing at all to rationally compare it to.
Is there anything in my post to suggest that the cookie was somehow special? For the sake of the discussion lets assume that this was just a regular cookie bought off the shelf at my preferred grocery store and placed in the cookie jar on the kitchen table. There is nothing special about it, except for the fact that we don't know what became of it. Which brings me back to my point: would it be reasonable to accept the claim made by a young member of my household that the cookie had been taken by an invisible green goblin that nobody has ever seen? Would it be reasonable to question the veracity of the claim, knowing what we know about the world we inhabit and have knowledge of.

This is a big part of the reason theists don't get any respect. You can clearly read and understand the point I was making, but chose to hold up a distraction designed to lead us away from the discussion.
 

Politesse

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Is there anything in my post to suggest that the cookie was somehow special? For the sake of the discussion lets assume that this was just a regular cookie bought off the shelf at my preferred grocery store and placed in the cookie jar on the kitchen table. There is nothing special about it, except for the fact that we don't know what became of it.
In that case, the cookie is a really, really bad analogy for the universe.

I note that if the cookie is analogously the universe, an atheist can't claim that a child ate the cookie, any more than a green goblin; your position is more akin to "there's no reason to assume that the cookie didn't just disappear". It's interesting that you assume instinctively that some kind of agency was involved in trying to explain the disappearing cookie, but insist that it is implausible and irrational to assume agency in the creation of universes.
 

Politesse

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This is a big part of the reason theists don't get any respect. You can clearly read and understand the point I was making, but chose to hold up a distraction designed to lead us away from the discussion.
I wouldn't really consider myself a theist in the sense that you mean. I'm content in my agnosticism. But if you're worried about respect, I must say this century-long atheist obsession with comparing gods and universes and other fundamental forces to objects that can be found in a toddler's playroom - cookies, teapots, dragons, pink unicorns - is not a habit that gets atheists much respect outside of their own very particular social circles. There's always that rhetorical risk, in trying to ridicule your opponents using baby-talk, of accidentally making yourself seem infantile.
 

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Is there anything in my post to suggest that the cookie was somehow special? For the sake of the discussion lets assume that this was just a regular cookie bought off the shelf at my preferred grocery store and placed in the cookie jar on the kitchen table. There is nothing special about it, except for the fact that we don't know what became of it.
In that case, the cookie is a really, really bad analogy for the universe.
Yeah. That's what we are talking about - whether a cookie is a good analogy for the universe. Your argument that Goddidit is a reasonable explanation deserving of our consideration and respect because a cookie may be a bad analogy for the universe is brilliant and insightful. The other stuff I posted explaining my position is irrelevant to the discussion. Like this:

If we don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist. It is not reasonable to accept a claim that some supernatural entity outside the universe deliberately made it happen, when such a claim is not backed by sufficient evidence.
 

Politesse

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Is there anything in my post to suggest that the cookie was somehow special? For the sake of the discussion lets assume that this was just a regular cookie bought off the shelf at my preferred grocery store and placed in the cookie jar on the kitchen table. There is nothing special about it, except for the fact that we don't know what became of it.
In that case, the cookie is a really, really bad analogy for the universe.
Yeah. That's what we are talking about - whether a cookie is a good analogy for the universe. Your argument that Goddidit is a reasonable explanation deserving of our consideration and respect because a cookie may be a bad analogy for the universe is brilliant and insightful. The other stuff I posted explaining my position is irrelevant to the discussion.
That is not my position. I don't think there are any rationally defensible positions on the origin of the universe. But because of that, I see no particular reason to "take a side" in what is actually a partly philosophical, partly emotional dispute.

If you're mad when people point out that your analogies are dumb, don't make dumb analogies a key part of your argument.
 

atrib

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Is there anything in my post to suggest that the cookie was somehow special? For the sake of the discussion lets assume that this was just a regular cookie bought off the shelf at my preferred grocery store and placed in the cookie jar on the kitchen table. There is nothing special about it, except for the fact that we don't know what became of it.
In that case, the cookie is a really, really bad analogy for the universe.
Yeah. That's what we are talking about - whether a cookie is a good analogy for the universe. Your argument that Goddidit is a reasonable explanation deserving of our consideration and respect because a cookie may be a bad analogy for the universe is brilliant and insightful. The other stuff I posted explaining my position is irrelevant to the discussion.
That is not my position. I don't think there are any rationally defensible positions on the origin of the universe. But because of that, I see no particular reason to "take a side" in what is actually a partly philosophical, partly emotional dispute.

It is more than just a harmless difference of opinion, as you make it out to be. Some people who believe in god(s) want to include their beliefs in science textbooks, and they actually succeed in doing just that from time to time. I think you said you were an educator. Would you really not take a side in this debate if this happened in your classroom - if your local school board instructed you to teach young earth creationism in your classroom?
 

Politesse

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Is there anything in my post to suggest that the cookie was somehow special? For the sake of the discussion lets assume that this was just a regular cookie bought off the shelf at my preferred grocery store and placed in the cookie jar on the kitchen table. There is nothing special about it, except for the fact that we don't know what became of it.
In that case, the cookie is a really, really bad analogy for the universe.
Yeah. That's what we are talking about - whether a cookie is a good analogy for the universe. Your argument that Goddidit is a reasonable explanation deserving of our consideration and respect because a cookie may be a bad analogy for the universe is brilliant and insightful. The other stuff I posted explaining my position is irrelevant to the discussion.
That is not my position. I don't think there are any rationally defensible positions on the origin of the universe. But because of that, I see no particular reason to "take a side" in what is actually a partly philosophical, partly emotional dispute.

It is more than just a harmless difference of opinion, as you make it out to be. Some people who believe in god(s) want to include their beliefs in science textbooks, and they actually succeed in doing just that from time to time. I think you said you were an educator. Would you really not take a side in this debate if this happened in your classroom - if your local school board instructed you to teach young earth creationism in your classroom?
I am an educator (though at the college level) and I do oppose teaching partisan religious views as science. I even give a fair amount of money to AAAS to the end of advocating for free and open science classrooms. They gave me a cool t shirt with a beaker on it.

I don't see ill-thought-out arguments for atheism as particularly helpful in preventing that fate, though. Go ahead and hit up your next local PTA meeting with a bunch of nonsense about teapots and cookies, and let me know how effective that was at swaying any non-atheists to your side on the policy question at hand.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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If the universe is mysteriously special then so is the cookie because they are the same thing. You can't have one without the other.
 

abaddon

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The complaining about the cookie/goblin analogy is what theists also do with analogies. Time and again I see them turn an analogy that's about epistemology into a matter of ontology; I think because they're ok saying WHAT the beliefs are but don't want to get into WHY the beliefs should seem plausible to anyone.

'Did you get the nature of my items of belief exactly right? Oops, no, nothing in nature is like what I believe so you didn't! How rude!'

Is the imagery in atrib's analogy rudely dismissive of time-honored "personal" beliefs? Let's think on it instead of emoting about it:

The universe is like a cookie if it's a made thing.
And God's like an invisible goblin if he's not visible and is a character found in fantastical stories

How are both of those things not true? So 'strawmanish' that they're rude?

That science doesn't know why the universe exists doesn't lend 'the God hypothesis' plausibility.
That a long tradition of believers telling origins myths with God in them lends the hypothesis no plausibility.

So we're left wondering (as always), why God should be considered by anyone as a reasonably plausible explanation for anything.
 

Politesse

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The universe is like a cookie if it's a made thing.
And God's like an invisible goblin if he's not visible and is a character found in fantastical stories

So how are both of those things not true? So 'strawmanish' that they're rude?
If I said any of the above, then critiqued same, you can bet your boots I'd be accused of misrepresenting his position.

But since you have made this claim, I would like to clarify:

The universe is like a cookie, in that both are "made things".

That is your position?

You're sure?
 

abaddon

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It's the position of those who express that the universe is unlikely to exist unless a transcendent being or entity (a "god") intentionally made it. And, no, that's not my position.
 

Politesse

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It's the position of those who express that the universe is unlikely to exist unless a transcendent being or entity (a "god") intentionally made it. And, no, that's not my position.
Then you feel it is atrib's position? I presume not, but if not, I don't see the point of trying to "correct" my interpretation of it... by restating it in a way that neither you nor they mean.

It's not my analogy, but I find it interesting that neither of you have been able to exercise consistency with it. It's supposed to be explaining why it should be obvious that the universe simply exists without any need to explain how or why, but both of you instinctively applied the assumption of external agency to the question of the appearing and disappearing cookie, seemingly without even meaning to or thinking about what you were doing. If the universe is really like a cookie - epistemologically, not ontologically - then you should be entirely comfortable with the idea of cookies appearing without need for someone to make them, and disappearing without need for someone to have taken them. There is either a failure of a metaphor here, or a failure of a priori reasoning. Which do you prefer to admit to? I would choose the metaphor, if I were you.
 

atrib

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It's the position of those who express that the universe is unlikely to exist unless a transcendent being or entity (a "god") intentionally made it. And, no, that's not my position.
Then you feel it is atrib's position?

It's not my analogy, but I find it interesting that neither of you have been able to exercise consistency with it. It's supposed to be explaining why it should be obvious why the universe simply exists without any need to explain how or why, but both of you instinctively applied agency to the question of the appearing and disappearing cookie, seemingly without even meaning to or thinking about what you were doing.

That is not true. Not once did I compare the two or refer to them as being analogous, or ascribe any special qualities to the cookie itself or its origin - that was you trying to put words in my mouth in an attempt to avoid the point I was making. In the second paragraph of my first post I went on to explain my position further, and this you completely ignored. For the third fucking time, this is I said:

If we don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist. It is not reasonable to accept a claim that some supernatural entity outside the universe deliberately made it happen, when such a claim is not backed by sufficient evidence.

You made an argument from ignorance and got called out on it by multiple posters. You asserted that we should not question theistic claims because we don't know how the universe originated. This is an argument from ignorance. Now you are trying to misrepresent my position and argue irrelevant nonsense to divert our attention from this fact.
 

Politesse

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It's the position of those who express that the universe is unlikely to exist unless a transcendent being or entity (a "god") intentionally made it. And, no, that's not my position.
Then you feel it is atrib's position?

It's not my analogy, but I find it interesting that neither of you have been able to exercise consistency with it. It's supposed to be explaining why it should be obvious why the universe simply exists without any need to explain how or why, but both of you instinctively applied agency to the question of the appearing and disappearing cookie, seemingly without even meaning to or thinking about what you were doing.

That is not true. Not once did I compare the two or refer to them as being analogous, or ascribe any special qualities to the cookie itself or its origin - that was you trying to put words in my mouth in an attempt to avoid the point I was making. In the second paragraph of my first post I went on to explain my position further, and this you completely ignored. For the third fucking time, this is I said:

If we don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist. It is not reasonable to accept a claim that some supernatural entity outside the universe deliberately made it happen, when such a claim is not backed by sufficient evidence.

You made an argument from ignorance and got called out on it by multiple posters. You asserted that we should not question theistic claims because we don't know how the universe originated. This is an argument from ignorance. Now you are trying to misrepresent my position and argue irrelevant nonsense to divert our attention from this fact.
I said nothing of the sort.

You're very quick to invent positions for me, for someone so supposedly offended by my many misinterpretations of your clever metaphor that you cannot explain or defend.

I would, if coming upon a cookie, absolutely assume that someone made it. And if I then found the cookie missing, I would absolutely assume that someone had taken it. So what does that imply for a universe, which is the analogue to the cookie in this situation?

We don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist.

This, I wholeheartedly agree with. Indeed, I've said the exact same thing multiple times in the thread! I do not claim to know anything about how the universe came into being. But, I do think that it did. And so do you.
 

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I don’t think they “applied the assumption of external agency,” I read it as them saying *IF* the religionists think it’s a made thing, then it might as well be a cookie. To wit, “The universe is like a cookie if it's a made thing.”

They are merely talking about the reasoning given by the religionists. They are not being inconsistent, they are stipulating the religionists’ view and showing how bankrupt it is.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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If the universe is really like a cookie - epistemologically, not ontologically - then you should be entirely comfortable with the idea of cookies appearing without need for someone to make them, and disappearing without need for someone to have taken them. There is either a failure of a metaphor here, or a failure of a priori reasoning. Which do you prefer to admit to? I would choose the metaphor, if I were you.
The universe and the cookie are the same thing. I've never seen a cookie appear or disappear and I've never seen any part of the universe appear or disappear. The cookie is just like every other part of the universe, it's always been here, just like every part of you and me.

Maybe you have a greater point. Or maybe you want to explain what you mean when you say "came to exist."
 

Politesse

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So if I believed the cookie was a made thing, I would think a child ate it?
If the universe is really like a cookie - epistemologically, not ontologically - then you should be entirely comfortable with the idea of cookies appearing without need for someone to make them, and disappearing without need for someone to have taken them. There is either a failure of a metaphor here, or a failure of a priori reasoning. Which do you prefer to admit to? I would choose the metaphor, if I were you.
The universe and the cookie are the same thing. I've never seen a cookie appear or disappear and I've never seen any part of the universe appear or disappear. The cookie is just like every other part of the universe, it's always been here, just like every part of you and me.

Maybe you have a greater point. Or maybe you want to explain what you mean when you say "came to exist."
The cookie has eternal life now? This is getting weird.
 

Politesse

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I guess you mean that the matter which makes up the cookie has always existed. But that seems like an extremely speculative claim to me. How could you possibly know?

And the metaphor is pointless, if you could name any object in the universe and have it apply just as well (or poorly) as anything else. Why not just say "I believe matter has always existed" and be more precise? What do thieving children and goblins have to do with it now?

If the cookie represents the eternal permanence of matter in this metaphor, how did the eternal permanence of matter get stolen, who is the child, who is the goblin, and why are we certain that the child rather than the goblin was the thief? None of this makes sense.
 

abaddon

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Politesse,

If someone claims that an invisible being might reasonably plausibly have [done anything at all], then how would people proceed at detecting it?

What anyone believes (or doesn't believe) about how the universe came to be (or whether or not it did) doesn't matter.

How does anyone, theist or atheist, go about detecting invisible beings?
 

none

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Politesse,

If someone claims that an invisible being might reasonably plausibly have [done anything at all], then how would people proceed at detecting it?

What anyone believes (or doesn't believe) about how the universe came to be (or whether or not it did) doesn't matter.

How does anyone, theist or atheist, go about detecting invisible beings?
hmm... what about massive stars that die?
 

DBT

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So if I believed the cookie was a made thing, I would think a child ate it?
If the universe is really like a cookie - epistemologically, not ontologically - then you should be entirely comfortable with the idea of cookies appearing without need for someone to make them, and disappearing without need for someone to have taken them. There is either a failure of a metaphor here, or a failure of a priori reasoning. Which do you prefer to admit to? I would choose the metaphor, if I were you.
The universe and the cookie are the same thing. I've never seen a cookie appear or disappear and I've never seen any part of the universe appear or disappear. The cookie is just like every other part of the universe, it's always been here, just like every part of you and me.

Maybe you have a greater point. Or maybe you want to explain what you mean when you say "came to exist."
The cookie has eternal life now? This is getting weird.

Does matter vanish from the Universe when the cookie is consumed?
 

Politesse

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I guess you mean that the matter which makes up the cookie has always existed. But that seems like an extremely speculative claim to me. How could you possibly know?
Only because it agrees with every observation we've ever made?
You can say that all you like. Not quite the same thing as presenting your evidence.
 

Politesse

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So if I believed the cookie was a made thing, I would think a child ate it?
If the universe is really like a cookie - epistemologically, not ontologically - then you should be entirely comfortable with the idea of cookies appearing without need for someone to make them, and disappearing without need for someone to have taken them. There is either a failure of a metaphor here, or a failure of a priori reasoning. Which do you prefer to admit to? I would choose the metaphor, if I were you.
The universe and the cookie are the same thing. I've never seen a cookie appear or disappear and I've never seen any part of the universe appear or disappear. The cookie is just like every other part of the universe, it's always been here, just like every part of you and me.

Maybe you have a greater point. Or maybe you want to explain what you mean when you say "came to exist."
The cookie has eternal life now? This is getting weird.

Does matter vanish from the Universe when the cookie is consumed?
Well, no. But is that a reasonable description of what atrib most likely meant when they described the cookie as being "gone"?
 

Politesse

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Politesse,

If someone claims that an invisible being might reasonably plausibly have [done anything at all], then how would people proceed at detecting it?

What anyone believes (or doesn't believe) about how the universe came to be (or whether or not it did) doesn't matter.

How does anyone, theist or atheist, go about detecting invisible beings?
Try radar? Infrared?

This is getting dumb again.
 

Politesse

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Isn't radar, infrared, etc, a part of the EMR spectrum, which we can detect?
So is visible light. Who cares whether invisible things exist or not? As far as I know, there aren't any religions that believe the universe was created by wholly invisible beings anyway. Certainly not Christianity, a tradition in which the incarnation of God is a pretty central theological concept.
 

abaddon

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hmm... what about massive stars that die?
Sorry about the word-choice - I should have said "undetectable" instead of "invisible". Also stars aren't beings or agents.

The issue I wanted to figure out was, in the absence of answers to a question, does an undetectable "agency" become reasonable as a possible answer to the question?

Especially if (like is the case with God) the "agency" keeps being proposed time and again but is never found anywhere, I have to wonder if it's reasonable to say it's one of contenders as an answer to "how'd the universe come to be?"
 Nobody's given me a reason to change my mind from "no, god as a 'possible answer' is not reasonable".
 

none

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Politesse,

If someone claims that an invisible being might reasonably plausibly have [done anything at all], then how would people proceed at detecting it?

What anyone believes (or doesn't believe) about how the universe came to be (or whether or not it did) doesn't matter.

How does anyone, theist or atheist, go about detecting invisible beings?
hmm... what about massive stars that die?
Sorry about the word-choice - I should have said "undetectable" instead of "invisible". Also stars aren't beings or agents.

The issue I wanted to figure out was, in the absence of answers to a question, does undetectable "agency" become reasonable as a possible answer to the question?

Even if (like is the case with God) the "agency" just keeps getting proposed time and again but is never found anywhere, across centuries even, is it reasonable to say it's one of contenders as an answer to "how'd the universe come to be?"

Nobody's given me a reason to change my mind from "no, god as a 'possible answer' is not reasonable".
pops, clicks, and whistles, yet a sharp stick always gets a person's attention.
LoL
err.. yeah do stars have agency? I dunno... hormonal sentience is a thing.
stellar agency, yep that is a level iii civilization.
 
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