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'No God' campaign draws complaint

 
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 02:27 pm
@Ashers,
you cant prove a negative

hence "there is probably no God"

on the other hand some might conjecture

"how can you say there is probably no God, when there are hundreds or thousands!"


Ra Thor Isis Vishnu Apollo Seth Yaweh Baal Venus Mars Jesus

in fact as many Gods as there are people capable of giving a definition of that little word.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 02:53 pm
@Ashers,
Quote:
No to both questions of course.


Good...that is what I was hoping for...and naturally, I see no evidence either.

I'll go into the implications of that at some point.


Quote:
How do you prove a negative?


Easy. Just say, “I do not have an elephant in my right pants pocket"...and then turn the pants pocket inside out and you've proved a negative.

Quote:
But you're really not understanding where I'm coming from, you're speaking to me as if I'm the archetypical atheist.


Not really. Actually, I'm trying to find out what you are. You've said several times that you are an atheist. And part of what I am doing is to try to fathom that...and make a few points about agnosticism at the same time.

Quote:
I am not and I've already noted as much.


Okay. But I not only think you are not the arch typical atheist...it doesn't sound to me as though you are an atheist at all.

That really is the point of my inquiry...as well as the desire to make some points about agnosticism.

Quote:
I've also already repeatedly mentioned the problem of evidence and hence my problem with the debate and I've also noted my problem with the typical atheists that is presumbly the same problem you have. You've barely responded to much of what I've said though. Given what I've said in all my posts here, I just don't understand how this:






Quote:
None of those are truly evidence that there are no gods--and what I am truly interested in is any evidence you see that there are no gods.



...applies to me.


That only applied if you answer YES to the second question. And since you had said a couple of times that you were an atheist, I at least had to consider the possibility that you were. Correct?

And almost all atheists feel there is some evidence that there are no gods.

Are we still on track???


Quote:

You've barely responded to much of what I've said though.


Okay...I'm going to put all of this on the back burner for a bit...it will come into play later.

My next post will respond to several things you mentioned earlier.

I am blunt. Please do not think I am dissing you in any way if I take strong exception to any of your assertions. I like to cut through the bullshit...and say what I have to say directly. Okay?
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 03:05 pm
@Frank Apisa,
LOL ! And for your next trick tell me how your elephant example applies to god and the universe? By all means dispense with what you feel is bullshit but likewise I of course won't stand for the kind of nonsense you posted earlier and I'll say as much every time. That's fair enough also I think. Reasons for why something is bullshit are always helpful too. If this is going to become an argument about what is or isn't atheism/agnosticism, then it won't be for me though.

I have a lot of work to do right now so I won't be responding for a little while but by all means....
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 03:13 pm
@Ashers,
Ashers, you mentioned that I have not responded to what you've said so far...so I am going to pick out one item (the first item in your post)...and comment on it. It is the first of several areas of disagreement that I have with your arguments. We'll get to the others after discussing this one.


So...item number one:

You said, “Frank, the very idea of a god that can do anything is ridiculous...”

And I responded, “WHY?”

Ashers, I have absolutely no problem conceiving of a GOD that can do anything (except, of course, things that are linguistically impossible.) I am not sure why you think that is ridiculous.


You then went on to say:
“For the record, my reasoning for this statement was (I think) the same as yours in saying the idea of a god that could not reveal itself to us is absurd. I assumed you meant this in the sense that god can do anything and as such he could reveal himself to us. Him not being able to reveal himself would be a contradiction in terms. “

Ashers, I NEVER SAID that a GOD could not reveal ITSELF to us! I said the exact opposite...that if a GOD wanted to reveal itself to us...it certainly could figure out a way to do so in an unambiguous way...so that we would all be dead certain that the GOD exists.



You also said, “I am saying that the idea a being can do anything is a contradiction in itself, like making a square circle or whatever. That to me is ridiculous.””

I do not follow your line of reasoning at all. What is contradictory about it? Can you not conceive of a being that can do anything (except stuff that is linguistically impossible)???
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 03:39 pm
@Ashers,
I'm not sure I understand what you are doing here, Ashers.

You asked this question:

How do you prove a negative?

Now...and be honest here...does it not sound as though you are saying that one cannot prove a negative?

So I gave an example of proving a negative.

Obviously...some negatives are harder...much, much harder to prove than others...and a "for instance" would be "there are no gods."

I am not sure what you were referencing when you wrote: "How do you prove a negative." It had come just after the words, “No to both questions"...and I had not asked anything about any proofs in either of those questions.

If you were saying ...How do you prove there are no gods? (not something I had asked)...I would have acknowledged that I think it impossible to prove there are no gods.

But you didn't...and I answered the question you did ask.

(So we have no question about this later, I do not think it impossible to prove there is a GOD...I just suspect it will never be done!)




Quote:


If this is going to become an argument about what is or isn't atheism/agnosticism, then it won't be for me though.


Well...now we have a problem. It seems you are content to call yourself an atheist....and you are not willing to discuss whether the designation is appropriate or not.

Okay...that IS your prerogative. No argument from me on that at all.

You can in fact, if you choose, call yourself a Christian. (In another thread some folks have asserted that anyone who calls him/herself a Christian IS a Christian simply by doing so.)

In any case, the question of whether or not the designation is being used appropriately is an important element in my discussion here...and if you would prefer to terminate the discussion because of that...no understand completely. We can certainly discuss other things in other places in the future...and I thank you for being an interesting and enjoyable discussion partner.

0 Replies
 
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 06:48 pm
Frank, a few things from your posts above. Firstly, I never said anything about "except linguistically impossible stuff", I said anything and I meant it without qualifier because this is the kind of thing I sometimes see thrown about by theists without further explanation. I do find the idea of a square circle ridiculous, it's just seems to be intrinsically so, your a better man than I if you're comfortable with it. Fair enough if so.

Secondly, if memory serves me right, I summarised your position as being that the idea that a god could not reveal itself is absurd. I'm implying that you think a god COULD reveal itself here.

Third, again if memory serves, you asked about whether I know of any evidence that shows god does not exist. I answered no for the reason of proving a negative hence I asked you about it. OK I didn't specify it with regards to a god but in the context of the discussion why would anything else matter. Anyway I thought it was implied but again, fair enough.

Lastly, I think claiming I'm unwilling to discuss the designation of atheist is a little unfair. I've given a couple of reasons but chief among them is what I said about a fatal problem with the entire debate which I do maintain agnosticism doesn't deal with and also this:

Quote:
When there is no working definition or any description at all of god in terms of experimentally confirming it to actually decide one way or the other, I don’t see the problem with just dismissing the whole thing. It’s not the same as claiming there is no god because you couldn’t do that even if you wanted, there’s no reasonable description to connect the sentiment to. It’s just a dismissal of the whole thing, that’s really more my atheism.


The problem is you're obviously not convinced but what can I say, I've seen nothing convincing that is contrary to this just your disapproval. I don't just want to end up butting heads again and again over the same points and I've already mentioned the tags themselves having little meaning to me. If you want to think of me as something other than an atheist that's quite OK as long as you don't misrepresent my position, what I've said as a whole in this topic provides far more insight into what my position is than 'atheism' possible could. In fact 'atheist' is misleading in some ways given what I already said about where most atheists stand. I choose to re-claim the term though and I think it has value and meaning in doing so. That's not to say I think I'm just using atheist when I mean something totally different, I just don't mean it in the (IMHO) misguided way it's typically used. It's still a rejection though.

Ultimately I still fully stand by what i've said regarding rejecting the debate as a whole and how this "critical" problem cannot be ignored. If you have something specifically in response to this then I'd be happy to hear it. Regardless I'll be happy to discuss other topics with you in the future, I've enjoyed it too.
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 12:40 am
@Merry Andrew,
There's a name for that. It's called deism.
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 12:49 am
@Merry Andrew,
You know, I wish you wouldn't ignore me. It's really not a good way to answer arguments. And contrary to what you may think, it's stupidly obvious. If you can't answer me, do the honourable thing and concede defeat.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 01:43 am
@aperson,
Quote:
Re: Merry Andrew (Post 3563687)
You know, I wish you wouldn't ignore me. It's really not a good way to answer arguments. And contrary to what you may think, it's stupidly obvious. If you can't answer me, do the honourable thing and concede defeat.


Concede defeat? I didn't even realize we were engaged in fisticuffs. You say "it's really not a good way to answer arguments." I detest arguments. I try to avoid them when possible. For me, what's wrong with the verbiage that gets spewed here at A2K and other fora is that people insist on arguing and defending their point of view ad nauseam. Gets tiresome as hell. I've stated my position and opinion and I stand by it. I have no need to defend it. Nobody has really attacked it. You are equally welcome to state your position and opinion and we part friends. No argument.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 01:52 am
@Ashers,
Ashers,

I agree with your analysis. I don't recall reading your response to the bus campaign. Do you think (as I do) that this is really an attempt at redressing social paradigms which might devalue "this life" ? (By "really" I am speaking from the point of view of social reality and functionality).
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Feb, 2009 07:58 pm
@fresco,
fresco, that seems a likely scenario to me although I'm not sure the advertisers in question would word it quite as smartly. Smile My question is which social paradigms actually devalue "this life"? If the chief slogan of, 'There's probably no God... now stop worrying and enjoy your life' is aimed squarely at extremists I think you'll get a lot of nods from most corners. It's clear for all to see how they devalue this life practically speaking in a number of ways. However, if it's aimed at theists and the religious orthodoxy in general, as a campaign, it seems a little vacuous to me.

I could make a distinction between say, different levels of consciousness or perspective that differ radically from "normal thinking". I could even cherish such positions dearly but not of this changes my passionate engagement with the world on a regular basis. It seems to me that if we switch higher perspective with heaven and myself with theist there is little reason to assume most are any less passionate about "this life". Speaking abstractly they differ by a large chasm but the question is how does that transfer to the practical world. I'd go further and say that all the stuff any given theist (for example) believes in is intrinsically linked to easing their traversal through this life. The immediacy of living seems to trump abstract ideas on most occasions.

I just get the feeling with some atheists like Dawkins that, with respect, his understanding of the religious experience is a little childish. Likewise why so many varied beliefs are so fundamentally important to so many lives. It's like, "oh just stop being so silly". How ridiculous, it IS insulting to imply they're not enjoying this life! Having said that, I fully acknowledge that his atheism like all atheist expressions are reactive to an initial proposition. In some parts of the world that proposition is made more forcefully than others and so the reaction is more forceful. The world is very, very large though. Such atheists and any related campaigns are just kidding themselves if they think they're involved in any kind of discourse. Dawkins is just venting, except he has the treat/trick of doing it publically. I guess his personal idea may indeed be to ignite an inescapable furnace.

At the same time, I remember you've talked in the past and mentioned Sam Harris with regards to the moderates lending the extremists legitimacy (hope I got that right) and I think that plays into this as well. Such a broad stroke statement surely puts moderates and extremists alike on the defensive? In the other topic on this campaign I posted about a story I read involving a bus driver who refused to drive the bus with this on it and his bosses relented, not the other way around. Status quo maintained.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 03:30 pm
@fresco,
I saw a picture of one of the buses skidded off the road onto the pavement. QED.
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 11:46 pm
@Merry Andrew,
That's not exactly the point of debate, which is what topics like this ^ are about. If you argue your one of your points, then you must argue all of them. You can't pick and choose only the good ones.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 05:08 pm
@aperson,
The bus advert from the Christian Party has caused more protest to the Advertising Standards Authority than nearly any other...but ASA are doing nothing about it.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 11:24 pm
@Steve 41oo,
Steve 4100 wrote:
The bus advert from the Christian Party has caused more protest to the Advertising Standards Authority than nearly any other...but ASA are doing nothing about it.

Is that a problem for you? Should they do something about it in your opinion?
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 01:32 am
@Steve 41oo,
I agree with your principles, but you are technically wrong.

Modus tollens is a form of deductive logic.

P1: If A, then B
P2: Not B
C: Not A

For example:

If there is life on a planet, there must be water. Planet X has no water. Therefore it has no life.

This is just one form of many many arguments which can be used to prove a negative.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 05:40 am
@aperson,
As a matter of pure logic, one can prove a negative. But doing so depends on statement P1 having truth value =1. The real world isn't like that. All our knowledge, all our experience leads us to believe that life cannot exist without water. But we dont know that for a fact. Therefore P1 has truth value near to but not 1 and the best we can say is C has value near to but not zero. We have not proved a negative, although for all practical purposes it might be reasonable to accept it. And thats for things we know about. Setting up propositions about God is quite meaningless in itself. For example "If God exists, then it follows that...(insert anything you want here)".
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 05:44 am

Sorry folks, no god. End of.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 05:52 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Steve 4100 wrote:
The bus advert from the Christian Party has caused more protest to the Advertising Standards Authority than nearly any other...but ASA are doing nothing about it.

Is that a problem for you? Should they do something about it in your opinion?
Its not particularly a problem for me, although I dont like conjecture being presented as fact. It ought to be a problem for the ASA as it is their job to stop misleading offensive or harmful advertising. I think they've dodged the issue.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 06:00 am
@McTag,
McTag wrote:


Sorry folks, no god. End of.
Typical Scot, pouring cold water over everything.... Smile
0 Replies
 
 

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