Theism vs. Atheism debate

Author: Fallaneze ,

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  • Fallaneze
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    Anyone up for debating your beliefs about the existence of God?

  • secularmerlin
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    Which god(s)?
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @secularmerlin
    "God" in the general sense meaning "prime, eternal consciousness and creator of the universe."
  • secularmerlin
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    --> @Fallaneze
    I see no way to prove or disprove deism.
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @secularmerlin
    What do you mean by "prove"?

    You can "prove" something mathematically. You can "prove" something scientifically. You can "prove" something in court. 

    In my view, "proving" whether God exists or not is setting an artificially high threshold of evidence. All we should concern ourselves with is whether it is more rational to believe God does or doesn't exist. That's it.

    So how do we determine which belief is more rational? That wholly depends on the preponderance of evidence. Evidence is information indicating whether a claim is true or untrue. If the evidence weighs in favor of the claim, it's more rational to believe the claim. If the evidence weighs against the claim, it's more rational to disbelieve the claim. If we are unable to attain any information to indicate whether God does or doesn't exist, or if the evidence is exactly equal for and against, then we simply withhold belief and can't make a determination of which belief is more rational.
  • secularmerlin
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    --> @Fallaneze
    That wholly depends on the preponderance of evidence.
    I see no way to provide a preponderance of evidence for or against deism.
    if the evidence is exactly equal for and against, then we simply withhold belief and can't make a determination of which belief is more rational.
    I tend to withhold belief in the absence of sufficient evidence.
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @secularmerlin
    So you have no information indicating whether God, as defined, does or does not exist? And to clarify, you're saying that neither belief nor disbelief in the existence of God are more rational in comparison to each other?
  • secularmerlin
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    --> @Fallaneze
    Why don't we look at another issue in which there is no preponderance of evidence for or against the prospect of.

    Let's say alien abduction. Would you say that neither belief not disbelief in alien abduction is more rational?

  • Fallaneze
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    --> @secularmerlin
    I want to stay on track but I will say this: there is evidence against alien abductions. This is why, as you imply, disbelief in alien abductions is the more rational stance. 

    Evidence, defined in post #5, means: "information indicating whether a claim is true or untrue." Without getting sidetracked too much, we have inductive evidence against alien abductions. Our observed absence of these occurrences warrant disbelief in the claim.

    Are we using the same definition of "evidence"? 



  • secularmerlin
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    --> @Fallaneze
    Our observed absence of these occurrences warrant disbelief in the claim.
    This is exactly my stance on god(s)
    Are we using the same definition of "evidence"? 
    I'm not certain but we almost certainly differ on what constitutes sufficient evidence.
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @secularmerlin
    We need to agree on a defintion of evidence before proceeding. This is the definition I am using:

    "information indicating whether a claim is true or untrue."

    I defined "God" as "prime, eternal consciousness and creator of the universe."

    Aliens, alien aircraft, and abductions are all posited to be material entities that interact with earth's population and are therefore subject to observation. A "prime, eternal consciousness and creator of the universe" is not. Accordingly, empirical observations gets us nowhere when applied to the existence of God. This is why logic and reason must provide us with the evidence in this instance.


  • secularmerlin
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    --> @Fallaneze
    information indicating whether a claim is true or untrue."
    I'm fine with this definition but
    If this is true
    A "prime, eternal consciousness and creator of the universe" is not (subject to observation)
    Then we would not expect to have any information indicating whether or not such a being exists. How then do we determine if we are in a universe with no information indicating the existence of a deity because the deity in question is unobservable or if we are in a universe with no information indicating the existence of a deity because no deity is present?
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Fallaneze @secularmerlin
    If causality holds then the universe has a cause, and you can call that cause god if you like(ie I can't stop you!), but you can't logically infert that first-cause-god to the god of any particular religion.

    Or causality is a lot more complicated than it appears and we have yet to fathom wtf was going on the origin of the universe but it was nothing like any god

    I favour the latter.


  • secularmerlin
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    --> @Fallaneze
    Aliens, alien aircraft, and abductions are all posited to be material entities that interact with earth's population and are therefore subject to observation.
    Why would we necessarily expect an alien race advanced enough to cross interstellar distances would be subject to observation if they chose to hide their presence from us?

    In that case how do we determine if we are in a universe with no information indicating the existence of advanced aliens because the aliens in question are unobservable or if we are in a universe with no information indicating the existence of advanced aliens because no aliens are present?
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @secularmerlin
    Good, we agree on the definition of evidence.

    Knowledge can be obtained rationally and empirically. For evaluating non-empirical claims, like the existence of God, we need to rely on rationalism. We can't evaluate the claim empirically. Since evidence is defined as information indicating whether a claim is true or untrue, we need to identify any evidence that can be obtained rationally. That's where we'll pick up.

    I don't want the aliens example to derail the thread but it depends on the definition of alien being used and the scenario presented. You had mentioned alleged cases of alien abduction, not the mere existence of an advanced alien race.


  • nagisa3
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    I'm going to have to dispute knowledge being obtainable in the first place, maybe that is pedantic, but I'd argue any claim cannot be provable. 
  • nagisa3
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    "Information indicating whether a claim is true or untrue" is too high a barrier. 
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Fallaneze
    All we should concern ourselves with is whether it is more rational to believe God does or doesn't exist. That's it.
    Deism is functionally identical to Atheism.

    Atheism =/= Adeism.

    Your burden of proof has absolutely nothing to do with Deism.

    Your burden of proof has absolutely everything to do with Theism.
  • secularmerlin
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    --> @Fallaneze
    One cannot obtain empirical knowledge of something for which there is no evidence even if we would not expect to see evidence.
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @secularmerlin
    I agree and that is why logic must be used when evaluating non-empirical truth claims such as the existence of God. 
  • WyseGui
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    Theists should really stay away from these sort of debates
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Fallaneze
    All we should concern ourselves with is whether it is more rational to believe God does or doesn't exist. That's it.
    How do we measure/compare how rational it is?

  • Fallaneze
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    --> @keithprosser
    After determining the weight of the evidence for and against the claim, it's more rational to believe the claim if the evidence is more for it than against it, and it's more rational to disbelieve the claim if there's more evidence against it than for it.
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @WyseGui
    Why?
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @nagisa3
    How do you define "provable"? And is the claim that "all claims are improvable" itself improvable?