AE #768 - Question

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AE #768 - Question

Postby jwm_mwq » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:36 am

G'day,

I am an atheist from Canberra in Australia. I have a question about an argument that Matt made on episode 768 (the relevant setion starts at about 34 minutes and 20 seconds in episode 768) it was that was something like:

“There are three things that can be said about a Goddess/God, that it either:
1. exists and has no effect on the world;
2. does not exist; or
3. exists and has an effect on the world.

Only number 3 is physically verifiable, whilst 1 and 2 might as well be the same thing.”

Matt mentions that he is using an analogy made by Tracie. She originally mentioned the argument (analogy) in episode 602.

I am interested in knowing more about this topic and maybe doing some further reading on it.

Any suggestions?

Justin
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Re: AE #768 - Question

Postby dobbie » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:24 am

jwm_mwq wrote: “There are three things that can be said about a Goddess/God, that it either:
1. exists and has no effect on the world;
2. does not exist; or
3. exists and has an effect on the world.

Only number 3 is physically verifiable, whilst 1 and 2 might as well be the same thing.”


Just a teaser or an aside on my part: The goddess/god could exist and has an effect on the world, but the effect it has remains unnoticeable to humans quite deliberately on the deity's part. Therefore the existence of the diety couldn't be physically verifiable, since that diety would take care to cover its tracks. Too silly?
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Re: AE #768 - Question

Postby jwm_mwq » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:42 am

Dobbie - thanks for that.

So there are two options, I guess:

Firstly restate the position like this:

"There are four things that can be said about a Goddess/God, that it either:
1. exists and has no effect on the world;
2. exists and has no physically verifiable effect on the world;
2. does not exist; or
3. exists and has an effect on the world.

1, 2 and 3 might as well be the same thing."

Or include physically verifiable as part of the definition of "effect", in which case the original proposition remains unchanged.

And a correction: Tracie originally mentioned the argument (analogy) in episode 593 and she demonstarted it again in episode 602.
Last edited by jwm_mwq on Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AE #768 - Question

Postby DjVortex » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:38 am

jwm_mwq wrote:1. exists and has no effect on the world;
2. exists and has no physically verifiable effect on the world;


What's the difference?
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Re: AE #768 - Question

Postby jwm_mwq » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:44 am

For me, none. I was replying to Dobbie.

See Dobbie's post for details.

The original argument is not mine either.

I just want to know where the source of it and some further reading on it.
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Re: AE #768 - Question

Postby Lausten » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:31 pm

dobbie wrote:Therefore the existence of the diety couldn't be physically verifiable, since that diety would take care to cover its tracks. Too silly?

Not at all. I have heard this used many times, in all seriousness. Mostly from the Liberal Christians or someone talking about any New-Age version of a god. It is the essence of the "god is everything" argument, or "god is energy" or "god and nature are the same thing".
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Re: AE #768 - Question

Postby McIago » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:39 pm

Some are just spinning their wheels here, you can't talk about anything without clear definitions.
1. What does "god" mean?
2. What does know or understand mean in this context?
3. What does exist mean?

If someone says, "God was the creator of the universe," then the reply could be, "I agree, the Big Bang is God."
If the reply were then, "Well, what created the Big Bang?" then you have precisely the same problem with claiming that "God created the universe." In fact this is the same problem theists face any time that they insist that "God did it."

If the statement is that God created everything, and that there was nothing in the beginning but God, then you are left with, "Then where did God come from?" To say that God always existed is no different from claiming that the universe always existed. The "a priori" argument for God, while arguing against an always existent universe is illogical.
I am, therefore I think.
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Re: AE #768 - Question

Postby DjVortex » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:37 am

McIago wrote:If someone says, "God was the creator of the universe," then the reply could be, "I agree, the Big Bang is God."


I wouldn't say that the Big Bang created the universe. The Big Bang is a description of what happened in the first moments of the universe, when it started expanding from a singularity. It does not postulate where the singularity came from.

The Big Bang is to the universe as the theory of evolution is to life: They explain the formation, but they do not explain the origin.
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Re: AE #768 - Question

Postby McIago » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:16 pm

I was positing a possible conversation between a Bible-believer and a non-specific non believer, and the point was that this kind of rationale can not be supported. I don't think that the Big Bang is God, but there is no less evidence for that than there is for a God creating the universe. In summary, there is no point in countering one causeless cause with another.
I am, therefore I think.
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