Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

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Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby suitnthaiguy » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:33 pm

Here is an argument I've heard from a couple different apologists, and just recently saw re-surface on YouTube. In a video from the Reason Rally between Thunderf00t and Eric Hovind, Eric asks this question;

If we only (can only) know 1% (or any arbitrary amount) of all the knowledge in the universe, then is is possible that god could exist in the percentage that we don't know?

It was excruciatingly painful to try and watch the whole video, since Eric would not understand that there isn't a finite amount of knowledge. Thunderf00t was trying to explain to him that he was asking a "malformed" question, but Eric wasn't getting it.

Can anyone help me in understanding or explaining where the flaw in this logic and/or question lies, and how to respond to apologists who have seemed to champion this new straw-man argument?

Thanks!

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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby sepia » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:42 pm

Sorry, I cant see a straw man argument.

suitnthaiguy wrote:If we only (can only) know 1% (or any arbitrary amount) of all the knowledge in the universe, then is is possible that god could exist in the percentage that we don't know?

What do these things mean:

1) knowledge in the universe?

2) existence inside a special percentage of knowledge?

For the case, that this argument should mean "Maybe in future we will find proof for the existence of god!" I will answer this: Maybe we will prove that our universe was created, but I see no way to prove, that the creater is for example eternal, since we only can observe and reconstruct a finite period of time. Therefor I doubt that there can be ever prove for the existence of God. But even if its possible, what does it matter, if we could prove God in future? Apologetics claim today without any good arguments, that their god exists!
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby suitnthaiguy » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:21 pm

I thought that this position would be a straw-man argument since they are taking our position of using our knowledge to prove the absence of a creator and replacing it with the position that since we will never know everything there is to know, that we may NEVER be able to PROVE that a god exists. Therefore we could be wrong and they are justified in blind belief. If it doesn't qualify as a true "straw man" argument, then I apologize for mis-labeling it.

I've really been trying to pin-down why this argument is wrong. This is one thing that apologists are so good at, as is pointed out in the film "Flock of Dodos". They make all of their arguments, basically into catch-phrases that they just repeat over and over, even if there is no logic behind it.

I guess what this argument boils down to is they are saying that we will never know everything and that a god could be "hiding", for lack of a better word, in that unknown knowledge. Does that make sense?

The argument itself is so flawed to anyone who has studied cosmology, evolution, or philosophy on any level, but is packaged so neatly in a catchy question wrapped in a retard bow that its hard to know how to respond.

Have you ever watched the movie "religulous"? Its similar to when Theme Park Jesus said "God is like water. Water can be ice, liquid, and steam. God is all three in one", and Bill Mahr just stood there dumbfounded. Later on he thought it through and realized it was a stupid analogy, but at the time, he had no idea how to respond.
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby sepia » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:06 pm

suitnthaiguy wrote:I've really been trying to pin-down why this argument is wrong.

It is a question. And as long as I don't know the context, I don't see it as an argument.

suitnthaiguy wrote:I guess what this argument boils down to is they are saying that we will never know everything and that a god could be "hiding", for lack of a better word, in that unknown knowledge. Does that make sense?

Almost.

1) If we all have to guess, why Eric Hovind asked this question, we should ask Hovind himself to avoid straw men. I don't see much sense in judging Hovind's arguments by guesses.

2) I would replace "unknown knowledge" with "unknown".
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby suitnthaiguy » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:58 pm

I'm not sure what you mean. Yes, I know that it is a question.

sepia wrote:It is a question. And as long as I don't know the context, I don't see it as an argument.


There is no need for it to be put into a context. It is simply a question being used by apologists to try to get atheists to admit that they don't know everything, and then asserting that because of that, there is no way for them to know that there is no god.

I was just hoping someone had a logical response to this question. Some of your previous response was helpful.

sepia wrote: I will answer this: Maybe we will prove that our universe was created, but I see no way to prove, that the creater is for example eternal, since we only can observe and reconstruct a finite period of time. Therefor I doubt that there can be ever prove for the existence of God. But even if its possible, what does it matter, if we could prove God in future?
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby Fyrebrand » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:18 am

Eric Hovind should probably start believing in my buddy Krakozod, the Space Squid. Not only does he exist in the 99% of all knowledge of the universe that we have not yet discovered, but he literally takes up the entirety of that 99%, and always will. Once we discover something new, that new knowledge gets subsumed into our 1% pool and Krakozod expands by that much, to accomodate the balance. As a result, Krakozod is eternally unknowable, no matter how much we know. And therefore, you should believe in him.
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby suitnthaiguy » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:11 pm

Hey guys,

I just wanted to share this email that Martin Wagner sent me from the TAE website. I think is sums it up pretty well as usual...

The flaw is that omniscience is a ridiculous standard by which to tell someone they are unjustified in refusing to believe a claim. No living human is omniscient, and so for all we know, there could very well be a planet orbiting a distant star inhabited by sentient gummy bears who communicate entirely by musical farting. So what? The simple fact that this planet could exist somewhere in a realm of knowledge we have yet to attain is no reason to go ahead and believe its existence to be true, let alone embrace it as a core belief system of your life.

Simply put, the time to believe something is when the preponderance of evidence in favor of that thing's truth makes disbelief less rational than belief.

Christians who make arguments like Hovind's are simply employing a dodge in an attempt to shift their burden of proof, which they know (whether they admit it or not) they simply cannot meet.

Martin


Thanks for the great response Martin!
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby Cephus » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:39 pm

Even if we do accept Eric's question, for shits and giggles, what he says still makes no difference. If we might find evidence for the existence of God in the future, we should still only believe in God once we have that evidence. We might find evidence for unicorns someday, doesn't mean we should start believing it right now. In fact, this argument is easily countered because we might find evidence for Zeus or Krishna someday too. Is Eric volunteering to start believing in those right this minute on the basis of a "maybe"?

I didn't think so.
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby sepia » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:08 am

I have secret proof, that God does not exist. Since you can't prove, that I have not, you have to belief me! And for all, who try to answer with Kant: I have access to a magical kind of knowledge. :mrgreen:
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby DjVortex » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:56 am

suitnthaiguy wrote:If we only (can only) know 1% (or any arbitrary amount) of all the knowledge in the universe, then is is possible that god could exist in the percentage that we don't know?


- That's a beautiful example of the god of the gaps argument. (Which in itself is a beautiful example of argument from ignorance. It couldn't be said more directly: Since there's a lot we don't know, surely god must be somewhere in that ignorance.)

- Of course some kind of god or gods could exist. I don't think any rationally thinking atheist/skeptic says otherwise. But that's not the point. The point is that so far there's no proper evidence for it, so assuming it is completely unjustified.

- The exact same argument can be used to argue the existence of anything you want. Fairies, unicorns, Cthulhu, superman, my little ponies... you name it. Until actual evidence is presented, those are just worthless wild speculations.

- How can you demonstrate how much do we know, or can know? Why do you make any assumptions on this?
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby suitnthaiguy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:37 pm

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond to this post. (Even the sarcastic posts!) It has really helped me understand the foundations of falsehood for this illogical question. Please keep them coming.

I really find it fascinating how apologists "package" these illogical arguments into little catch-phrases that believers can just repeat over and over. The documentary Flock of Dodos did a great job of talking about this and how hard it is, even with a logical argument on your side, to counter the masses need for a simple answer.

Again, thanks!!
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby Lausten » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:04 am

I couldn't watch that to the end. Thunderfoot is a brilliant guy, but he doesn't do quite as well when he has to think on his feet. Hovind was being a complete jerk, but that's to be expected. Thunderfoot was trying to prevent him from getting to his 2nd part and really he was totally hanging himself at that point, he should have just let him go on. Simply dismissing the 1% knowledge thing as an argument from ignorance would have been sufficient. He did manage to repeat the basis of the scientific method a few times, which was worth it for any Hovind fans that might tune in.

The 2nd part, is Hovind claims that he has a line to God, who does know 100% of everything in the universe, therefore he (Hovind) has access to that knowledge. Thunderfoot could have just let him repeat that a few times and stared at him in disbelief.
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby DjVortex » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:58 am

Lausten wrote:The 2nd part, is Hovind claims that he has a line to God, who does know 100% of everything in the universe, therefore he (Hovind) has access to that knowledge. Thunderfoot could have just let him repeat that a few times and stared at him in disbelief.


"Because you are haughty of heart, you say, 'A god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea!'" - Ezekiel 28:2
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby DjVortex » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:17 am

I wonder if Hovind took his argument from this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJpEQEs-6bs

This preacher claims that while speaking to some "communists" God gave him an argument that he had never thought of before. He then proceeds to present this very argument from ignorance in a really long-winded way (immediately followed by a false dichotomy which, even though he clearly states as a hypothetical, he immediately uses to come to a conclusion).

If God really gave him this argument, then God is a really lousy debater, I'd say.

(When he says the infamous "couldn't God be in the 95% that you don't know" most of the audience laughs. I really hope that at least some of them laughed because they realized how bad of an argument from ignorance this is.)
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Re: Percent of Knowledge? Please Help!!!!

Postby Lausten » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:56 pm

DJ wrote:"Because you are haughty of heart, you say, 'A god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea!'" - Ezekiel 28:2

Kinda strange to just quote scripture in this forum, but I'll assume you are doing so to make the standard point that this scripture makes, that some people believe they have become so powerful that they are gods. The God of the Bible doesn't look too kindly on that. He usually threatens and often carries through on some sort of punishment.

Funny that more people like Thunderfoot don't bring up these passages when they are confronted by such blasphemy.
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