Why I am an atheist – Dave Hill »« Near-death, rehashed

Comments

  1. Chrisco says

    shame, i heard that was against the rules. But i guess zombies are against the rules too.

  2. dianne says

    shame, i heard that was against the rules.

    Zombies find the brains of those who complain about rule breaking especially delicious.

  3. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Louder. Louder! That’s it! Mikmik mafe a joke that’s been around since christ was a cowboy, but he really thinks it’s literal! Fuckwit!

    Well, shit, you were ironically using a hoary old joke.

    You so clever!

    Settle the fuck down, already.

    How the fuck did you know that I was screaming and throwing my computer against the wall when I wrote what I did?

    Now, please relate yet again how you cannot possibly be using misogynist tropes because of the experience of your mother.

  4. says

    The Bible clearly states the Jesus was NOT a zombie, and the bible is the word of God because it says so RIGHT IN THE BIBLE!

  5. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Caine, I should have pointed out, this was mikmik I was responding to.

  6. mikmik says

    You are the one who has logged in and posted contentious comments; reaping the consequences is hardly being bullied.
    DFuck, akready!
    Chigua, I way overreacted to your comment, I don’t know where in the fuck I got the idea that you were being nasty – it wasn’t that bad! It wasn’t even really much of anything. I just wanted a quick barb back and use the midol thing with the guys all the time to mock each other’s
    oversensitivity. I’ve never thought that it was but a handy way to say ‘quit being so cranky/whiny. I say it my woman boss, my sister, they just laugh, FFS! I also carry a soother at times for tossing to people at meetings for the same meaning. Fuck, it’s sexist, I get it, I figured it out already. Your reply was certainly appropo. I apologize, really, but it didn’t look like it bothered you that much, so if it did, I won’t be doing that again, in any event. But, my point is I didn’t need to be that way to you, I was wrong.
    Then, was it kemist?, not Sally anyways, her tone was what I deserved perfectly, I tried to return it instead of taking my lumps like a big boy!! Sorry, kemist. I don’t think of you as any age but maybe 30, who cares, you obviously weren’t acting improperly or anachronistically.
    I apologise if I sounded insensitive about pre-menstral sypmtoms, I know they are something fierce for some people at times, and is a medical condition of serious consequence for some people that is problematic and nasty, not fucking funny, anyways.

    Sally, thanks for at least noticing my initial realization. I should have left well enough alone, and I knew the comments were out of step with what I posted and vise versa, but I wasn’t mature enough to shut the fuck up.

    So, yes, John, I am almost entirely at fault for starting the nastiness, although chigau and kemist weren’t initially nasty, nor brother og, theo, certainly too, and others.

    And there goes my super-heavy-duty logarithmic irony meter. I wonder if the warranty covers mikmik?
    Ah, the bullying whine. Yes, I actually noticed the dial broke off the meter early on, and for all intents and purposes, I suffered serious philosophical crises on some of my comments.

    I usually try to insert something wry or self mocking in a very lot of my tirades/insults/epic discharges, and …and whatever. I wasn’t taking shit that seriously and more thought of being in a exercise of some sort with no holds barred. I felt wounded and angry, no doubt, but again, who cares.

    Anyways, I really hope it pisses you off when I don’t go away, but TZT isn’t a major sideline for me, and I’m not out to prove anything, or be a fuck-up in any way, anymore, or certainly, completely, not towards anyone specifically or implicitly.
    I’ve no hard feelings, just my tail between my legs.

    Now, please relate yet again how you cannot possibly be using misogynist tropes because of the experience of your mother.

    Cause I met women that were terrorized and beside themselves with unfathomable obsession about how they need to get their children safe, because I’ve nown women with fucking tracks up and down their arms because they were hookers and their fucking pimps treated them like shitty dirt when they got pregnant, and the girl is at meetings helping do whatever she can to help but still thinks she’ll never see her daughter again.
    Because every second fuck wit in this place is prone to violent temper tantrums because why should he have to pay anything for his six kids living with the bitch because the cunt won’t let him see them and how the fuckb does the bitch and the bitch at social services think he’s sposed to bling the fuck out and style up with razor cut swank and sick tatties…
    Or cause I was 13 years old and went and looked for my mom that I knew was od’d or dead in her bedroom because she was finally able to by us something new with the full scholarship she’d won while raising the four of us, until my dad figured she had enough money now and he didn’t have to pay anymore, but I didn’t know and I phoned him to come help my mom because I didn’t fucking know what to do and then he used her suicide attempt as a reason to try and get us taken away from her because he was a vindictive fuck.

    You fuckiung want me to get into how the one person in this fucking planet that taught me that honesty and taking responsibility for your part in everything no matter how unjust means that you find out the secret to never feeling completely powerless again in your life, the one that taught me that reading is beautiful and that I should make up my own mind when I wondered if why the stories in sunday school seemed so cartoonish and silly, the one that I found out about o two weeks ago that suddenly she’s almost dead from a heart failure and that I’m on my way to help her do stuff and talk politics and tell her I love her so much because she taught me the right things that allowed me the ability to understand what life is and my ability to actually appreciate this microscpic time frame to do everything and fuck fuck fuck…

    That’s why, thanks for asking, she did a good job and I fucking know when I am being a jerk, and when I am wrong, and I wasn’t very fucking wrong with my midol comment, especially because it doesn’t evwen cross my mind have the time that what I’ve done is a mistake because I don’t think like that in the first place, and I know I shouldn’t submit this but I want you to fucking boorish fuck when somweone makes a rare slip up, that they don’t really give a fuck what you think, yet they do, and whtever, hey?

    I’m having a bit of a tough(ha, was gonna put bitch, lol) time but mostly I just want to keep up acting normal.

  7. mikmik says

    You are the one who has logged in and posted contentious comments; reaping the consequences is hardly being bullied.
    DFuck, akready!
    Chigua, I way overreacted to your comment, I don’t know where in the fuck I got the idea that you were being nasty – it wasn’t that bad! It wasn’t even really much of anything. I just wanted a quick barb back and use the midol thing with the guys all the time to mock each other’s
    oversensitivity. I’ve never thought that it was but a handy way to say ‘quit being so cranky/whiny. I say it my woman boss, my sister, they just laugh, FFS! I also carry a soother at times for tossing to people at meetings for the same meaning. Fuck, it’s sexist, I get it, I figured it out already. Your reply was certainly appropo. I apologize, really, but it didn’t look like it bothered you that much, so if it did, I won’t be doing that again, in any event. But, my point is I didn’t need to be that way to you, I was wrong.
    Then, was it kemist?, not Sally anyways, her tone was what I deserved perfectly, I tried to return it instead of taking my lumps like a big boy!! Sorry, kemist. I don’t think of you as any age but maybe 30, who cares, you obviously weren’t acting improperly or anachronistically.
    I apologise if I sounded insensitive about pre-menstral sypmtoms, I know they are something fierce for some people at times, and is a medical condition of serious consequence for some people that is problematic and nasty, not fucking funny, anyways.

    Sally, thanks for at least noticing my initial realization. I should have left well enough alone, and I knew the comments were out of step with what I posted and vise versa, but I wasn’t mature enough to shut the fuck up.

    So, yes, John, I am almost entirely at fault for starting the nastiness, although chigau and kemist weren’t initially nasty, nor brother og, theo, certainly too, and others.

    And there goes my super-heavy-duty logarithmic irony meter. I wonder if the warranty covers mikmik?
    Ah, the bullying whine. Yes, I actually noticed the dial broke off the meter early on, and for all intents and purposes, I suffered serious philosophical crises on some of my comments.

    I usually try to insert something wry or self mocking in a very lot of my tirades/insults/epic discharges, and …and whatever. I wasn’t taking shit that seriously and more thought of being in a exercise of some sort with no holds barred. I felt wounded and angry, no doubt, but again, who cares.

    Anyways, I really hope it pisses you off when I don’t go away, but TZT isn’t a major sideline for me, and I’m not out to prove anything, or be a fuck-up in any way, anymore, or certainly, completely, not towards anyone specifically or implicitly.
    I’ve no hard feelings, just my tail between my legs.

    Now, please relate yet again how you cannot possibly be using misogynist tropes because of the experience of your mother.

    Cause I met women that were terrorized and beside themselves with unfathomable obsession about how they need to get their children safe, because I’ve nown women with fucking tracks up and down their arms because they were hookers and their fucking pimps treated them like shitty dirt when they got pregnant, and the girl is at meetings helping do whatever she can to help but still thinks she’ll never see her daughter again.
    Because every second fuck wit in this place is prone to violent temper tantrums because why should he have to pay anything for his six kids living with the bitch because the cunt won’t let him see them and how the fuckb does the bitch and the bitch at social services think he’s sposed to bling the fuck out and style up with razor cut swank and sick tatties…
    Or cause I was 13 years old and went and looked for my mom that I knew was od’d or dead in her bedroom because she was finally able to by us something new with the full scholarship she’d won while raising the four of us, until my dad figured she had enough money now and he didn’t have to pay anymore, but I didn’t know and I phoned him to come help my mom because I didn’t fucking know what to do and then he used her suicide attempt as a reason to try and get us taken away from her because he was a vindictive fuck.

    You fuckiung want me to get into how the one person in this fucking planet that taught me that honesty and taking responsibility for your part in everything no matter how unjust means that you find out the secret to never feeling completely powerless again in your life, the one that taught me that reading is beautiful and that I should make up my own mind when I wondered if why the stories in sunday school seemed so cartoonish and silly, the one that I found out about o two weeks ago that suddenly she’s almost dead from a heart failure and that I’m on my way to help her do stuff and talk politics and tell her I love her so much because she taught me the right things that allowed me the ability to understand what life is and my ability to actually appreciate this microscpic time frame to do everything and fuck fuck fuck…

    That’s why, thanks for asking, she did a good job and I fucking know when I am being a jerk, and when I am wrong, and I wasn’t very fucking wrong with my midol comment, especially because it doesn’t evwen cross my mind have the time that what I’ve done is a mistake because I don’t think like that in the first place, and I know I shouldn’t submit this but I want you to fucking boorish fuck when somweone makes a rare slip up, that they don’t really give a fuck what you think, yet they do, and whtever, hey?

    I’m having a bit of a tough(ha, was gonna put bitch, lol) time but mostly I just want to keep up acting normal.

    And, this never happened *wink*

  8. mikmik says

    Damn, lost the blockquoting! I was about to post it last page but it ended when I went to submit, yikes, so I saved it as txt.

    Even I have a hard time wondering what I write, but without block quotes??? Good luck, anyways

  9. consciousness razor says

    We have a lot of misogynist teal deer it seems…I need to renew my license.

    I regret having taken a minute to read it. Don’t bother. Really.

    Quite the run-on sentence you have here:

    That’s why, thanks for asking, she did a good job and I fucking know when I am being a jerk, and when I am wrong, and I wasn’t very fucking wrong with my midol comment, especially because it doesn’t evwen cross my mind have the time that what I’ve done is a mistake because I don’t think like that in the first place, and I know I shouldn’t submit this but I want you to fucking boorish fuck when somweone makes a rare slip up, that they don’t really give a fuck what you think, yet they do, and whtever, hey?

    Does the Pope say the part in bold ex cathedra, and if no one is around to hear it, does anyone give a fuck?

  10. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The first rule of holes. When in over your head, stop digging. Right Mikmik?

  11. says

    @Leo

    Well the thread is certainly a zombie, and a persistent one. There’s no shortage of necromancy around.

    Wait, if Jesus is a lich, where is his phylactery? We just need a band of idio—adventurers to find it and sort this whole business out.

  12. says

    phylactery – I like that word. I don’t know how to pronounce it, but the next time I see it I will know that I don’t know how to pronounce it. Charming!

  13. Amphiox says

    I fucking know when I am being a jerk, and when I am wrong

    This is manifestly, empirically, demonstrably, untrue.

  14. chigau (副) says

    I just can’t stand to see this Thread so dead.
    Tally-ho, mates!
    Let’s wake er up!

  15. Dhorvath, OM says

    Um, do we really want to wake this up? I mean, I have wasted a lot of ammo getting zombies down that wouldn’t stay down, dare we tempt fate?

  16. chigau (副) says

    A. R
    I had laundry out on the line and I left it for that little bit of rain-water rinse.

  17. theophontes 777 says

    @ Dhorvath

    Daar is meestal paaseiers in die komentaar oor die weer. Kyk goed!

  18. chigau (副) says

    Dhorvath
    clue 1
    Keep a google translate tab open.
    Copy paste anything foreign into a “detect” window.
    Figure it out from the crappy translation.

    clue 2
    Sometimes there is a little underline thing over which you should hover your cursor: for example.
    ——
    It’s not like we’re doing anything profound.
    And, we have learned, PZ can sneak in and change things.

  19. Dhorvath, OM says

    Ah Chigau, I love your intrigue. Sorry I blundered across it. Time away has cost me much it seems.

  20. A. R says

    Dhorvath: Just heard some thunder outside, weather is turning quite nasty around here.

  21. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    One of the zombies was blatting about us being bad at faking emotion. (He was crazy wrong, of course.)

    I love that rhetorical trick. It gets so much out of nothing.

    It implies that the accused is doing something wrong, and trying to cover it up, then fucking up the cover-up. All based on the accuser’s imagination.

    (Actually, I don’t really care about it, I’m just faking the emotion. ;) )

  22. chigau (副) says

    Bugrit!
    I can’t read the acronyms from here.
    I antn’t going back upstairs.
    G’night loveys.

  23. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    In my #45, I forgot to say that the accuser also gives himself points for being smart enough to detect the cover-up, and impresses some in the audience with how much smarter he is than them (the readers) since they didn’t see it.

    Thunderstorms headed for me. I can’t sleep when storms are approaching, for some reason.

  24. usagichan says

    Strewth #21

    Wait, if Jesus is a lich, where is his phylactery? We just need a band of idio—adventurers to find it and sort this whole business out.

    Holy Grail?

    Now if we can just get some coconut bearing African Swallows [aside] I know, I know, they’re non migratory [/aside]…

  25. 'Tis Himself says

    Now if we can just get some coconut bearing African Swallows

    How long will it take the swallows to get here? Does anyone know the terminal air velocity of a swallow?

  26. usagichan says

    Chigau (違う) # 1 & 4

    私は最初だ!

    おめでとうございます。 よくがんばったね。

  27. mikmik says

    The first rule of holes. When in over your head, stop digging. Right Mikmik?

    Is that nerd? Bit of an echo down here! down here ! own ere

    ow er

    do

  28. John Morales says

    [meta]

    I see mikmik has nothing much to say, but very volubly so.

  29. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Tis what is that Adam Smith quote on taking care of the working class you quoted a while back. I’m sure there’s a ton of them but I’m trying to track down the one in particular.

    There that should be plenty of info to pick it out…

    /shrug

  30. theophontes 777 says

    @ chigau 423

    いや、いないすべての私の友人は、ファシストです。… ここをクリック

    はい、私はあなたの質問に答える時に前方に移動す。

  31. theophontes 777 says

    @ chigau

    theophontes #62
    huh?

    You are only going to ask the question to which that is the answer at comment #423...

  32. says

    Here’s something interesting, from The Tell-Tale Brain.

    Anytime you watch someone doing something, the neurons that your brain would use to do the same thing become active – as if you yourself were doing it. If you see a person being poked with a needle, your pain neurons fire away as though you were being poked. It is utterly fascinating, and it raises some interesting questions. What prevents you from blindly imitating every action you see? Or from literally feeling someone else’s pain?

    In the case of motor mirror neurons, one answer is that there may be frontal inhibitory circuits that suppress the automatic mimicry when it is inappropriate. In a delicious paradox, this need to inhibit unwanted or impulsive actions may have been a major reason for the evolution of free will. Your left inferior parietal lobe constantly conjures up vivid images of multiple options for action that are available in any given context, and your frontal cortex suppresses all but one of them. Thus it has been suggested the “free won’t” may be a better term than free will.

    I like the concept of free won’t.

    X-posted to TET.

  33. theophontes 777 says

    @ chigau

    Not really time travel. Prediction. I’ll send some Horumon-Yaki to you as compensation. Check ur USB.

    @ Caine

    free won’t

    You are going to invoke the lipstick weilding pitbull at this rate.

  34. Amphiox says

    mikmik evidently believes in a closed universe. It has dug a hole so deep, but it just keeps on digging, desperately hoping that eventually it will recurse itself back to the surface, somewhere.

    Hey, the earth is roundish. There may still be a little bit of hope.

  35. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    Hey, the earth is roundish. There may still be a little bit of hope.

    Long before then, though, he’ll be melting in the heat as he wears the mantle of his martyrdom.

    But mikmik does have an amazing ability to not only cherry pick the comments, but deliberately and magnificently misunderstand the cherry pick at the same time. Amazing.

  36. A. R says

    Ek glo dat ‘n langtermyn strategie vergadering is so nodig om ‘n beter ons optrede in die rigting van die bevordering van tzt beplan.Al hierdie in die guns, kan jy jou goedkeuring verberg in ‘n ​​kommentaar oor die weer.

  37. 'Tis Himself says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp #61

    Tis what is that Adam Smith quote on taking care of the working class you quoted a while back. I’m sure there’s a ton of them but I’m trying to track down the one in particular.

    Are you referring to my favorite quote from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations?:

    The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

  38. scifi says

    Amphiox,
    “No it isn’t very different at all, except that sticking the creator into it makes the whole thing less parsimonious.”

    Ok, let’s say a creator does make the whole thing less parsimonious. However, what I am saying is that a creator makes more sense and, therefore more likely that something came from nothing and expanded into a universe with numerous finally tuned parameters required for life with intelligence behind it than by itself by some freak chance.

  39. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Ok, let’s say a creator does make the whole thing less parsimonious. However, what I am saying is that a creator makes more sense and, therefore more likely that something came from nothing and expanded into a universe with numerous finally tuned parameters required for life with intelligence behind it than by itself by some freak chance.

    Well of geez, that’s the first time someone has made that claim. I do believe it makes sense despite how incredible fucking stupid and ignorant to the reality of the universe it is.

  40. scifi says

    mikmik,
    “Describe the properties of this god”

    That’s easy, it’s me. LOL!
    Let me put it this way. Only a fool would attempt to describe the properties of a god which can only be determined to possibly exist by reason. And I am and do not wish to be a fool, so I will not be foolish enough to attempt to answer your request, which is irrelevant to the question of whether or not a creator exists anyway.

  41. says

    Ok, let’s say a creator does make the whole thing less parsimonious. However, what I am saying is that a creator makes more sense and, therefore more likely that something came from nothing and expanded into a universe with numerous finally tuned parameters required for life with intelligence behind it than by itself by some freak chance.

    Do you even know what the words you use mean?

  42. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    no that’s not it tis, shit. I’m trying to recall the nuances of it.

  43. scifi says

    Rev: Big dumb chimp,
    “I do believe it makes sense despite how incredible fucking stupid and ignorant to the reality of the universe it is.”

    Thank you for stating that it makes sense. However, the part where you say it is stupid to the reality of the universe is incorrect.

  44. thunk says

    Scifi:

    However, what I am saying is that a creator makes more sense and, therefore more likely that something came from nothing and expanded into a universe with numerous finally tuned parameters required for life with intelligence behind it than by itself by some freak chance.

    Let me unpack this:

    First, you say a possible creator makes more sense, using the finely tuned parameters already. That is complete bullshit. Poofing in the existence of Teh Creator makes much *less* sense than supposing that maybe we couldn’t be here if said fine-tuning didn’t happen. The Anthropic principle.

    And might I add that the probability of the aforementioned events happening is 1. They already did. So there’s even less point in poofing a creator in there, for which you have zero direct evidence.

  45. thunk says

    Scifi 76:

    Let me put it this way. Only a fool would attempt to describe the properties of a god which can only be determined to possibly exist by reason. And I am and do not wish to be a fool, so I will not be foolish enough to attempt to answer your request, which is irrelevant to the question of whether or not a creator exists anyway.

    Any object or idea is defined by its properties. My computer is gray, hot, and sitting on an orange table. Your supposed god apparently has no well-defined properties. We need an actual description of your god, or you could claim it is ANYTHING. What a cop-out.

    The bin of porcupines is around the corner. Feel free to take one.

  46. Snoof says

    Let me put it this way. Only a fool would attempt to describe the properties of a god which can only be determined to possibly exist by reason. And I am and do not wish to be a fool, so I will not be foolish enough to attempt to answer your request, which is irrelevant to the question of whether or not a creator exists anyway.

    You’ve just described a property of whatever entity it is you’re talking. Two, in fact:

    * It possibly exists.
    * Its possible existence can be determined by reason.

    Oh, wait, here’s another one:

    * Only a fool would try to describe its properties.

    So by your own logic, you must be a fool, since you’ve just described three properties.

    Would you care to rethink your assumptions?

  47. Dhorvath, OM says

    Only a fool would attempt to describe the properties of a god which can only be determined to possibly exist by reason.

    I doubt you will find any here who would accept anything that had been determined to possibly exist by reason. We want ways to test reason against reality to see when logic has led us astray, and when it has helped us find insight.

  48. John Morales says

    chigau,

    Perfect laundry weather!

    I guess you don’t get dusty air where you live.

    (Lucky for your topsoil)

  49. chigau (副) says

    John Morales
    We’ve had alot of rain recently.
    Dust comes later (like day-after-tomorrow about 3PM)

  50. theophontes 777 says

    @ scifi

    {theophontes grasps pencil, tries to grasp scifi’s logic diagrammatically}

    Ok … er… scifi. let us try and sketch this out:

    “nothing” –a–> universe [our contention]

    GAWD ™ + “nothing” –b–> universe [your contention]

    but we are all inhabiting the same universe, so we just need to look at what is meant by :

    “nothing” –a–>

    GAWD ™ + “nothing” –b–>

    Obviously the mechanism/operator indicated by –x–> is more complicated in your case than in ours. It must not just make something out of “nothing”, but must draw GAWD ™ into the equation as well. GAWD ™ is not the same as the mechanism. If anything, GAWD ™ on the left of your equation, merely indicates a pretty big animal as receptacle of divine intent.

    I trust my woo-ey diagram helps you to understand why adding GAWD ™ to the equation makes it far more complicated for two particular reasons:

    1. You have created an extremely complicated animal that is, furthermore, capable of intent.
    2. Your mechanism to bring about transformation in the universe is far more complicated than ours. Hell, it doesn’t allow for mistakes or lack of focus from the creatorcreature. Each and every chemical reaction that we would take to be spontaneous requires the loving care of the celestial legomaster, in your view. And must fall precisely into the precise location (in space/time) intended in the original divine plan ™ .

    And how small are his bricks to begin with? Atoms, electrons, quarks….? Each accounted for twice. Once through its existence and a second time through the complete and utter comprehension thereof by your personal GAWD ™… and I have even neglected to mention intent:

    As a young child I would tread on a sharp stone and yell “It bit me!” then become very angry with it and would pick it up to dash against the ground in punishment. It is easy to see where I was wrong. It is also easy to see where your assumption of divine intent is wrong. And for the same reasons.

  51. John Morales says

    theophontes,

    Hot and humid again…

    A steam press is hot and humid. Good for laundry, no?

  52. theophontes 777 says

    @ John Morales

    A steam press is hot and humid. Good for laundry, no?

    Give me hot and dry weather rather.

  53. Amphiox says

    Only a fool would attempt to describe the properties of a god which can only be determined to possibly exist by reason. And I am and do not wish to be a fool, so I will not be foolish enough to attempt to answer your request, which is irrelevant to the question of whether or not a creator exists anyway.

    If you do not attempt to describe the properties of a god, then you have no way of evaluating, by reason, revelation, or any other means, whether said god exists.

    You have no means of distinguishing the not-god state from the god state.

    So, IT IS ABSOLUTELY RELEVANT to the question of whether or not a creator exists.

    ABSOLUTELY.

    In fact, here is ONE PROPERTY that is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to the question of a creator god:

    It MUST BE ABLE TO CREATE STUFF.

    Continual evasion of this simple requirement is further evidence of deliberate intellectual dishonesty on scifi’s part.

    But of course we already knew that.

  54. Amphiox says

    However, what I am saying is that a creator makes more sense and, therefore more likely that something came from nothing and expanded into a universe with numerous finally tuned parameters required for life with intelligence behind it than by itself by some freak chance.

    I see scifi has decided to completely ignore all the parsimony explanations that have already been given to it and continues to make this same, long-refuted, useless argument.

    Really intellectually pathetic, actually.

  55. chigau (副) says

    theophontes
    I’m leaving the towels out overnight.
    Boyhowdy! Am I ever getting good at typing “acronym”!

  56. Amphiox says

    Scifi doesn’t seem to realize that something that is less parsimonious, cannot, BY DEFINITION, make more sense.

    Sense and parsimony, in the scientific method, are for all intents and purposes, THE SAME THING.

    Similarly, something CANNOT be more parsimonious and at the same time less likely.

    Likelihood and parsimony, in the scientific method, again are for all intents and purposes, THE SAME THING.

    The argument from parsimony ONLY WORKS because it actually boils down to an argument from likelihood. Every assumption you make has a certain a priori likelihood and a certain a priori unlikelihood of being true. When you start the hypothesis-evaluating process, before you have evidence to frame your likelihoods, each additional assumption adds an additional degree of improbability to your hypothesis. The hypothesis with the LEAST assumptions is therefore, a priori, the MOST LIKELY ONE.

    Scifi’s contention that he will grant that a creator is less parsimonious but still assert that a creator “makes more sense” and is “therefore more likely” is nonsensical.

    Or reflects a deliberate refusal to understand what parsimony actually means.

  57. Amphiox says

    To discard a parsimonious hypothesis, you have the FALSIFY it with evidence. You have to demonstrate that this hypothesis doesn’t fit reality, that reality actually requires more assumptions than the low-assumption hypothesis makes.

    Only then can you go on to consider the next most parsimonious hypothesis.

    An intelligent creator, even more complex than the thing you are trying to explain in the first place, is the BIGGEST POSSIBLE ASSUMPTION YOU CAN POSSIBLY MAKE.

    You cannot validly consider creator hypotheses until you have falsified ALL POSSIBLE natural non-creator hypotheses. Even if you want to believe in a creator, if you are intellectually honest, this is the course you MUST take.

    Since we are not even close to falsifying natural explanations for the universe, it is not valid for us to consider creator hypotheses.

  58. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    Something came from nothing? Erm, the universe is still pretty much nothing.

    There’s one or two atoms of hydrogen per cubic meter, on average. That is a pure vacuum, by any earthly standard–in other words, nothing.

    Inside each of those hydrogen atoms is a proton and a lot of empty space. Almost nothing.

    The electron is pretty much nothing, all by itself, and if you stuff it into a proton, they combine become a neutron. And a neutron is very, very small.

    If you took all the atoms, including the comparatively few that are more complex, and shoved all of them together, you’d wind up with a ball of neutrons.

    That ball of neutrons would fit into our solar system, inside the orbit of Saturn. All the matter in the entire universe would be lost in our galaxy. And our galaxy would be lost in the universe.

    All that is just to repeat: It’s still nothing.

    I don’t know what you think your god was doing, but he didn’t do it very compactly, and he sure didn’t leave a canopy over a firmament anywhere.

  59. theophontes 777 says

    @ Amphiox

    What scifi does not get, leaving aside the incredible vastness over which an imaginary creatorcreature ™ would have to operate, is the extremely fine scale at which it would have to work too.

    Just striking a match sends the creator being into a tiz. Where we see a simple chemical reaction and the release of energy, scifi has so much more than that going on. He has his hypothetical GAWD ™ going in there and actually causing each and every molecule in the match head and surrounding atmosphere to do exactly as intended.

    It is a conscious process, this lighting of a match. A confluence of our intention to light a cigarette and GAWD ™ approving the action (as part of a Greater Plan), before leaping in, Himself, to inspire those grumpy little molecules to to His bidding.

    Scifi, my above example is exactly what would be necessary in your view of how the universe fits together. God has to micromanage EBERYTHING !!1!!, or your whole world-view disappears into total incoherence and irrelevance.

    You want a single atom, anywhere in the universe to behave without GAWD ™ telling it exactly as it should? Why not another, somewhere else? … and so on and so forth until, POOF! No AWMARTY GAWD ™ required at all.

  60. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, Scifi, your creator must have come from nothing. It had to be created in some sense. Why can’t you acknowledge that fact. Oh, right, presupposition, special pleading, and fuckwittery. You still lose, because you can’t win unless you deal with facts like who created your creator, who also came from nothing.

  61. says

    However, what I am saying is that a creator makes more sense and, therefore more likely that something came from nothing and expanded into a universe with numerous finally tuned parameters required for life with intelligence behind it than by itself by some freak chance.

    Scifi, are you honestly still claiming this. It’s been shot down like a gazillion times now.

  62. John Morales says

    Nerd, by this argument, clearly the creator of the creator was created by the creator of the creator of the creator.

    (And, in turn, the creator of the creator of the creator was created by the creator of the creator of the creator of the creator.

    Etc.)

    </Jonathan Swift>

  63. theophontes 777 says

    @ pentatomid

    Scifi, are you honestly still claiming this. It’s been shot down like a gazillion times now.

    The fun is to now find novel ways to shoot down his arguments.

    Next up: Shooting down Scifi’s arguments while blindfolded AND on horseback …

  64. theophontes 777 says

    @ John Morales

    Everybody wants to live forever, but nobody wants to grow old. – Jonathan Swift

    (He has a race,the Struldbruggs, in Gulliver’s Travels, who live on ad finitum, but continue to age.)

  65. theophontes 777 says

    @ John Morales

    A similar misfortune: The immortal Thetis married Peleus. It seems that immortal beings can haz sad if they become attached to their mortal loves.

    The xtian solution to luvvin’ teh imoretall lawd: Therefore HEABEN!!!11!1, jeebus saves from teh DAITH!!1

    (But what if we age in heaven?)

  66. KG says

    scifi,

    I know it’s your habit to ignore all arguments against your drivel, but I’ll give it one more try.

    You claim that positing a creator makes more sense than not doing so, on the grounds that the requirements for intelligent life are unlikely to have come about by chance. Now this creator, if it exists, must, in order to perform its creative role, be capable of planning and carrying through actions – which are the essential properties of the intelligent life (us) that you are claiming it explains. Now, there are two possibilities:
    1) The creator exists in a physical universe. In this case, clearly you have gained nothing at all, because, if your claims about improbability are correct, the creator’s existence is as improbable as ours.
    2) The creator does not exist in a physical universe. In this case, not only is it entirely unexplained how it can exist – since the only intelligent beings we know of do exist in a physical universe; but you have to assert that the existence of intelligent life does not require any physical universe, let alone one with the properties ours has.
    If you fail to answer this point, you will be admitting that you have no grounds whatever for your claim that it “makes more sense” to posit a creator than not to do so, and that you are not only indulging in mere wishful thinking, because you want there to be a creator, but are also, quite simply, dishonest.

  67. mikmik says

    Let me put it this way. Only a fool would attempt to describe the properties of a god which can only be determined to possibly exist by reason. And I am and do not wish to be a fool, so I will not be foolish enough to attempt to answer your request, which is irrelevant to the question of whether or not a creator exists anyw

    You picked the wrong zombie to mess with this time, scifi, I mean Aaarrrggghhh slop,ich.
    As Amphiox stated, existence is a property, and actually, the ability to create a universe is a property. These are 2 very consequential properties of some detail, and they don’t just grow on trees – maybe your god did, I don’t know because of your reticence to provide further details.

    Okay, harken back to to 1968 where 3 crashed astronauts are wandering a desert which soil is incapable of supporting plant life when they find a plant.
    Charlton then makes the quite reasonable observation that, “if there is one…” and his buddy, “there’s another, and another!”

    So, you say there is a god with no properties, for that would be stupid to exist, AND have properties of existence, but as we have seen, if there is one, there’s another and another! Three, at least!

    Look, scifi, it is one thing for for gravitational energy to lose equilibrium due to shenanigans sneaking about for fractions of plank time and length disturbing the zero energy (nothing) state and letting all hell break lose – a hell with total energy equal to zero, I’m told, but WHERE THE FUCK did mommy, daddy, and yahwbaby come from, god dammit! At least mathematically, and possibly experimentally detectably this loss of gravitation equilibrium might be discovered with a plausible particle interaction at a hundreb gabillions elebenty electron volts in a particle accelerator but….

    How fucking many hundreb gabshrillions elebenty would it take to make not one, but mommy, daddy and baby gods!
    No fucking way!

    If you say it’s stupid for the universe to form out of nothing(which it does seem to from a state a gravitational ground state), WTF = God! When did that happen?!?

  68. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Thank you for stating that it makes sense. However, the part where you say it is stupid to the reality of the universe is incorrect.

    Sarcasm is lost on you, and no the part about you being an ignorant rube when it comes to the reality of the universe is spot on.

  69. says

    Theophontes:

    He has his hypothetical “GAWD ™ ” going in there and actually causing each and every molecule in the match head and surrounding atmosphere to do exactly as intended.

    Goodness, I must personally give scifi’s GAWD™ fits. See, every now and then, the rats enjoy munching on the burnt heads of wooden matches, so I’ll strike half a box at a time for them.

    I had no idea I was being so utterly aggravating to a creator critter.

  70. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    A.R.:

    We need to add one to the list. How could we possibly have forgotten Trollodon soni?

  71. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    Updated:

    1) Famillia: Trollus
    * a) Subfamillia: Trollii
    * * i) Genus: Trollodon (disp)
    * * * (1) Species: assholicus
    * * * * (a) racistii
    * * * (2) Species: libertardia
    * * * (3) Species: menzii
    * * * * (a) defensor
    * * * * (b) privilegiata
    * * * * (c) mysognyistus
    * * * (4) Species: mystikus
    * * * * (a) stultus
    * * * * (b) mysognyistus
    * * * (5) Species: soni
    * * ii) Genus: Accommodare
    * * * (1) Species: incommodus
    * * * * (a) atheistii
    * * * (2) Species: stultus
    * * * * (a) agnosticus
    * * * * (b) athestii
    * b) Subfamillia: Fundamentalis
    * * i) Genus: Creationistii
    * * ii) Genus: Delugionistii
    * * * (1) hamii
    * * * (2) hovindii
    * * * (3) complexionem
    * * iii) Genus: Godbotticus
    * * * (1) repetita
    * * * (2) defensor
    * * * (3) mysognyistus

    (sorry for all of the ‘*’s, but I have no clue how to put in multiple spaces at the beginning of a line.

  72. A. R says

    Og: Added to the list as:

    Famillia: Trollus
    Subfamillia: Trolli
    Genus: Trollodon
    Species: soni (Ogvorbis)
    Subspecies: null

  73. scifi says

    thunk,
    “Any object or idea is defined by its properties. My computer is gray, hot, and sitting on an orange table. Your supposed god apparently has no well-defined properties. ”

    Yes, you can define the properties of your computer because it is sitting in front of you, but if life exists somewhere else in the universe, can you describe the properties of it? Nope. The same is true of a creator because, like the life on another planet, we have not observed it.

  74. scifi says

    thunk,
    And just because you haven’t observed it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  75. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    if life exists somewhere else in the universe, can you describe the properties of it?

    So there is no working description of what qualifies as life? None at all? Ever?

  76. A. R says

    And just because you haven’t observed it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    No, but if it cannot be observed at all, that means that it almost certainty does not exist.

  77. scifi says

    theophontes 777,
    #89
    I do actually get it. I realize that a creator does add an extra step. That is obvious. However, having something come from nothing and expand into a finely tuned universe for life still could require a creator, otherwise it would amazingly have to happen by itself with no guidance whatsoever.

    Some have tried to pin me down with the properties of this creator, if it indeed exists. I can’t tell you that. I can only speculate. I would guess that it always existed which would address the argument of who created the creator, and that it exists somewhere outside of time and space.

  78. scifi says

    A.R.,
    “No, but if it cannot be observed at all, that means that it almost certainty does not exist.”

    In that case, if we follow your logic, life on other planets does not exist either since it cannot be observed either.

  79. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, finally Scifi got to the nub of its fuckwittery. The old and disproved rubic:

    1. the universe exists
    2. everything that exists must have a creator
    3. a creator made the universe

    Axiom 2 is false, and the creator must be created in some fashion if it is true. Everything else Scifi said was smoke and mirrors to disguise its already disproved illogic.

  80. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    it exists somewhere outside of time and space.

    How would you measure for that? What type of sensing device would you use to detect something that exists outside of both time and space? How could this organism have any effect on our physical system if it is outside of said system? And how would you show that there has ever been any effect in our system? How would you design the experiment to determine this?

  81. scifi says

    Dr. Audley,
    “Seriously, no one can describe the properties of “life”?”

    Hmmm, you make a good point here. What I was thinking is that we cannot describe the properties of life on another planet. It could be completely different from the properties of life here on earth.

  82. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    In that case, if we follow your logic, life on other planets does not exist either since it cannot be observed either.

    But there are ways to detect it. The presence of free oxygen in the atmosphere, for instance. An atmosphere that has no long-term stability without additional input is another example.

    We know, from looking at earth’s atmosphere, that, without plant and animal life, the amount of free oxygen (O2) would dwindle rather quickly and we would see an atmosphere very different than we have.

    This is a layperson talking off the top of his head. I am sure that there are many other ways to gather evidence for the presence of extraterrestrial life.

    So how do we gather evidence of your supernatural life, life outside of space and time?

  83. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The same is true of a creator because, like the life on another planet, we have not observed it.

    Does your creator interact with the universe on a physical level?

  84. Dhorvath, OM says

    How is this:

    it would amazingly have to happen by itself with no guidance whatsoever.

    More amazing than that something capable of instigating and guiding such an event has always existed? The universe exists, that much I suspect we agree upon. I am not amazed by it in the same sense that I am about something else that we can’t observe with properties that exceed in seemingly every way those of that which we can agree does exist.

  85. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    What I was thinking is that we cannot describe the properties of life on another planet.

    I kinda like Audley’s working definition of life. Uses resources from the environment and reproduces.

    It could be completely different from the properties of life here on earth.

    Would it still utilize resources from the environment and reproduce? What else do you want?

  86. scifi says

    Brother Ogvobis,
    “How would you measure for that? What type of sensing device would you use to detect something that exists outside of both time and space? How could this organism have any effect on our physical system if it is outside of said system? And how would you show that there has ever been any effect in our system? How would you design the experiment to determine this?”

    You probably could not measure it. And besides science is designed to measure material things, not the supernatural. If a creator started everything in motion, so far, we have no evidence how it all started, whether it be by a creator or by some sort of quantum mechanics. We can only measure the results and extrapolate backwards to determine that the universe started with the appearance of a extremely compacted mass that then expanded into our universe.

  87. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Scifi is trying like hell to have us disprove a negative again. Until it can provide conclusive physical evidence for its imaginary creator, there is no rational basis even to consider that fuckwittery. Scifi, put up or shut the fuck up. Welcome to science, which is proved, and your presuppositions, which aren’t.

  88. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    scifi

    if life exists somewhere else in the universe, can you describe the properties of it? Nope.

    Yep. Its relevant property is life. We can right here, right now, describe it as self-replicating, eating, excreting and creating change in its environment. We could, when we arrived on its planet, describe it further—even when we had not yet seen it—by its tracks and droppings and den, and the meats on which it feeds.

    We cannot, from here and now, state anything definite about that life’s length of hair or views on abortion. But we can agree on a definition of life to put in our starfleet’s directives, and be aware that said definition may have to be altered.

    The same is true of a creator because its relevant property is that which created the universe. We can describe it further by observing that which it created—the universe around us.

    Our observation of the universe show that the creator, if any, has covered his tracks pretty damned well.

    I, for one, do not want to discuss something that is powerful enough to create the universe, who pervades the universe, and who obviously wants to be left hidden away. (Your god reminds me of Santa Claus, and even as a small kid I knew better than to make Santa Claus mad.)

    So let’s quietly drop the subject and wander away, whistling softly.

  89. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    scifi can you tell me one single thing we’ve determined was caused by a supernatural actor or event in the history of the universe? One thing that without a doubt we have determined has a supernatural cause?

    Just one.

  90. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    You probably could not measure it.

    Cannot be measured. There is no way to even design an experiment to determine if it has every, in any way, shape or form, interacted with the physical world.

    And you insist that adding your gods to the universe is the more parimonious solution? What colour is the sky in your world, plaid?

  91. says

    (sorry for all of the ‘*’s, but I have no clue how to put in multiple spaces at the beginning of a line.

    Let me see if   works. (If there are 2 spaces between if and works (as in the preview), then yes it does. But then you can’t see that I have typed an ampersand before nbsp; ).

  92. scifi says

    Rev BigDumbChimp,
    “Does your creator interact with the universe on a physical level?”

    Good question. The creator may have started it all and stepped aside, deism, or occasionally steps in to make necessary adjustments, theism. If a creator does step in and make adjustment, how would you detect that? You might detect some anomaly but how would you know it wasn’t something natural since that is what science would be looking for.

  93. scifi says

    Bother Ogvortis,
    “And you insist that adding your gods to the universe is the more parimonious solution?”

    I’m saying that it doesn’t matter whether or not it is a more or less parsimonious solution. What I am saying is that a an intelligent force guiding it could very well make more sense than something happening all by itself with no guidance and by chance. Also, there is the assumption that quantum mechanics existed before the our universe was formed. How can we be so sure of this?

  94. A. R says

    scifi: Quit trying to force us to prove a negative. You know that’s an argument-killing logical fallacy, right?

  95. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    scifi: Quit trying to force us to prove a negative. You know that’s an argument-killing logical fallacy, right?

    It doesn’t appear to acknowledge that fact, typical of hard-core theists, because they know they have no positive evidence for their delusions, and try to pretend we don’t either.

    But science and the naturalistic explanations are the null hypotheses, and postive evidence by Scifi is necessary to change that. We’re still waiting Scifi for your positive and conclusive physical evidence you are right.

  96. A. R says

    What I am saying is that a an intelligent force guiding it could very well make more sense than something happening all by itself with no guidance and by chance. Also, there is the assumption that quantum mechanics existed before the our universe was formed. How can we be so sure of this?

    First, look up “skyhook argument“, then read anything by Lawrence Krauss.

  97. scifi says

    Brother Ogvorgis,
    “Would it still utilize resources from the environment and reproduce? What else do you want”

    Excellent point. I stand down. You are correct we do have a number of properties for life even though life on another planet might use a system different from life here on earth.

  98. scifi says

    A.R.,
    “scifi: Quit trying to force us to prove a negative. You know that’s an argument-killing logical fallacy, right?”

    You are only assuming that I am trying to force you to prove a negative, but I have been trying to carefully insist that you provide me with evidence of a natural cause, i.e., the positive. I admit I cannot prove a creator, I can only use reason, but you are essentially left to that device as well, since you, like me, haven’t any evidence either.

  99. A. R says

    scifi: But how different could alien life really be? PZ answered that question in a lecture at TAM last year. Go look it up, watch it, and come back.

  100. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    Excellent point. I stand down. You are correct we do have a number of properties for life even though life on another planet might use a system different from life here on earth.

    Wasn’t me who first introduced that idea in this thread. If you were actually concerned with reality, you would know this. (I wonder if this has anything to do with ‘Bother Ogvortis’ being a masculine ‘nym, and Audley Z. Darkheart being a feminine ‘nym?)

  101. theophontes 777 says

    @ Caine

    creator critter.

    Hey, the creator critter could indeed be a giant rat. He (why always a “he”?) would only need to have the ability and intention to create the universe as we know it. This whole fascination with matches could indicate that god is a rodent.

    @ Ogg/A.R

    I am in awe of your energy, but I do not see how your attempts at categorisation can work.

    @ scifi

    The same is true of a creator because, like the life on another planet, we have not observed it.

    [my emphasis] That last bit is true enough. But your creator is supposed to be right here right now. Not on some hypothetical planet. Can you see the difference?

    I realize that a creator does add an extra step.

    No. Not just that. The creator adds an extra step for every single event (no matter how small or trivial) that occurs in the universe at any time. That “extra step” is in each case bigger than the real event itself. If such a “step” occurred it would be measurable – at all scale levels – continuously.


    otherwise it would amazingly have to happen by itself with no guidance whatsoever.

    Not just the Big Bang, for fucks sakes … each and every physical event ever. Highly complex emergent phenomenon yes. Imaginary skydaddy ™ , no. Very Large Creation Rodent ™ , no (sorry Caine).

    I would guess that it always existed

    Aah, you mean a type of meta-universe that has always existed, and gives rise to universes from outside their own space and time. That certainly does not require consciousness nor intent. No gods, just dead matter.

    You really need to study up on emergent phenomenon. It may look alive. Hell, it might even be alive. But it sure as fuck don’t need no GAWD ™ .

  102. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    Not to mention ‘Brother Ogvorgis’. Maybe I should change my ‘nym to Appalachicolasaurischiaviantheropodferroequinologist so it is easier to spell?

  103. consciousness razor says

    I would guess that it always existed which would address the argument of who created the creator, and that it exists somewhere outside of time and space.

    So it doesn’t exist anywhere and has no way to perform any action (like, for example, creating the universe). How do you manage to believe something that ridiculous?

    We can only measure the results and extrapolate backwards to determine that the universe started with the appearance of a extremely compacted mass that then expanded into our universe.

    You have failed time and again to understand that spacetime itself expanded, not just the matter in it. If you do understand that, then stop misrepresenting the science.

    If a creator does step in and make adjustment, how would you detect that? You might detect some anomaly but how would you know it wasn’t something natural since that is what science would be looking for.

    There would be some noticeable change of the laws of physics, which you presuppose this deity fine-tuned for life in the first place, but now even that’s not enough to sustain your absurd position. It wouldn’t just be an “anomaly” that looks like any other natural phenomenon. A non-interventionist deity is supposed to have set up the laws and the initial conditions, then let the universe evolve on its own from that point. So the options for an interventionist deity are to change the initial conditions (meaning it isn’t an adjustment so much as a universe-wide do-over) or to change the laws at some time while the universe is evolving. Otherwise, if you just wanted to hold onto the word “god” as a metaphor for what nature does by itself, you wouldn’t be making such idiotic arguments for it.

    Also, there is the assumption that quantum mechanics existed before the our universe was formed. How can we be so sure of this?

    We aren’t and don’t need to be, just to recognize your bullshit for what it is. Even the most implausible naturalistic speculation about the universe’s origins would be better. I cannot imagine one which would be worse, but you’re of course free to come up with an example. That is how bad your position is.

  104. A. R says

    theophontes: It’s quite simple actually, the Subfamily is determined first by determining of the specimen is a fundie or not. Then, determining of the specimen is an accommodation or not (for subfamily Trolli), or is a simple godbot or a creobot (subfamily Fundamentalis). Species is determined from the most prominent characteristic first observed classifies to genus, and further differentiation may occur at the subspecies level. I can post the full Taxonomy if you’re interested.

  105. says

    Theophontes:

    Hey, the creator critter could indeed be a giant rat. He (why always a “he”?) would only need to have the ability and intention to create the universe as we know it. This whole fascination with matches could indicate that god is a rodent.

    Nope, sorry. If the Creator Critter was a rat, there would be chew marks on *everything*. Also, giant puddles of piss all over the place.

  106. consciousness razor says

    You are only assuming that I am trying to force you to prove a negative, but I have been trying to carefully insist that you provide me with evidence of a natural cause, i.e., the positive. I admit I cannot prove a creator, I can only use reason, but you are essentially left to that device as well, since you, like me, haven’t any evidence either.

    You demand an answer now, but I don’t. The answers worth having don’t come that cheap, and your argument from ignorance is never going to be valid anyway. You know we have the evidence on our side, so stop being such a liar. If you believed there is no evidence either way, and you can only use reason, stop talking about the big bang, quantum mechanics, fine-tuning, abiogenesis, definitions of life, and any other empirical phenomenon. You won’t do that though, because you’re such a goddamned liar.

  107. theophontes 777 says

    @ All

    [meta]

    I have a serious problem with Conway’s rules:

    For a space that is ‘populated':

    Each cell with one or no neighbors dies, as if by loneliness.
    Each cell with four or more neighbors dies, as if by overpopulation.
    Each cell with two or three neighbors survives.

    For a space that is ‘empty’ or ‘unpopulated':

    Each cell with three neighbors becomes populated.

    “WHY?”, I hear you all cry in unison.

    Well, my prime problem is with his use of terms like “dies”, “loneliness”, “survives”. It is not just the cutesy application of these terms as if the game is necessarily about living creatures. It is not. It is sorely ingenuous to use these terms.

    We should rewrite the the rules as purely chemical reactions or pure game rules. This is important. Kids shouldn’t be given the idea that these emergent phenomenon are based upon smaller living agents (though they often are in RL). It is important to realise that these life-like phenomenon are stone dead. They appear to live, move, eat, die or reproduce. Things are not necessarily as they appear.

    {nods sagely at scifi in particular}

  108. A. R says

    Also, giant puddles of piss all over the place.

    Perhaps The Creator pissed on the planet, therefore oceans? (That’s my only bad attempt at creationist logic for today, I promise!)

  109. Dhorvath, OM says

    Oh, damn. Actually, the entire cosmos is just one giant puddle of rodent urine.

  110. consciousness razor says

    “WHY?”, I hear you all cry in unison.

    Actually, I was going to say, “You’re kidding, right?” But I’ll play along. “WHY are you kidding … right?”

  111. opposablethumbs says

    every now and then, the rats enjoy munching on the burnt heads of wooden matches

    Your rats have them some pretty eclectic tastes, Caine. I like to think of them as tiny connoisseurs … “Swan Vestas? Thank you, I’d love some. Mmmm, quite piquant – oh but you really must try this vintage box of Captain Webb!”

  112. KG says

    I would guess that it always existed which would address the argument of who created the creator, and that it exists somewhere outside of time and space. – scifi

    Well first, if it has always existed, then it is not outside time, since “always” implies the existence of time. But in any case, I refer you to my point @111. This “creator” must either exist in a physical universe, in which case you have clearly got nowhere, since the probability of that physical universe being able to support an intelligent agent is, according to your so-called argument, implausibly low; or it doesn’t, in which case, not only do you have no kind of explantion of how it can exist, since the only intelligent agents we know of exist in a physical universe, but this would show that the conditions for an intelligent agent to exist do not require any sort of physical universe, let alone one with the specific properties ours has, and your whole so-called argument for a creator collapses. Why won’t you address this point, scifi?

  113. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Good question. The creator may have started it all and stepped aside, deism, or occasionally steps in to make necessary adjustments, theism. If a creator does step in and make adjustment, how would you detect that? You might detect some anomaly but how would you know it wasn’t something natural since that is what science would be looking for.

    Stepped away and consciousness razor answered pretty much how I would have so I’ll leave it at that.

    however,

    scifi you haven’t answered my question #137

    scifi can you tell me one single thing we’ve determined was caused by a supernatural actor or event in the history of the universe? One thing that without a doubt we have determined has a supernatural cause?

    Just one.

    ?

  114. theophontes 777 says

    @ Caine

    Nope, sorry. If the Creator Critter was a rat, there would be chew marks on *everything*. Also, giant puddles of piss all over the place.

    Pity, I kinda liked that idea. But you’re right, there are not enough chew marks or intergalactic puddles of piss to support the hypothesis.

    Very Large Creation Rodent ™ – rejected :'(

    Now turning our attention to scifi’s GAWD ™ : No porn mags all over the place nor intergalactic ejaculate in giant puddles.

    Imaginary skydaddy ™ – rejected :)

    Not a good night for gods it seems.

    @ AR

    I kinda see what you are doing. But what happens when you run into a specimen like rajkumar who turns out to be a raving misogynist? It can’t suddenly change genus? (More like they suffer from comorbid conditions or diseases?)

  115. theophontes 777 says

    @ consciousness razor

    Actually, I was going to say, “You’re kidding, right?” But I’ll play along. “WHY are you kidding … right?”

    Not at all. It is important to realise that life-like phenomenon can have non-life origins. His explanation of the rules already presupposes life. Unnecessarily.

    Conway was brilliant and understood every aspect of the rules. But perhaps he was at the same time ignorant of what presuppositionalists like scifi might take home from the game.

    *shudders*

  116. A. R says

    theophontes: raj was predominantly an “everything is a mystery” troll, and stayed that way until the bitter end. The misogyny was, as I saw it, a minor trait more worthy of classification as a subspecies, thus Trollodon mystikus mysognyistus (Ogvorbis).

  117. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    *gasp!* You mean that I might have been ignored because I’m a lady? Are you implying that scifi is a douchebag?

    I suspect that scifi is a Godbotticus misogynistus. Of course, xe might be an Accomodare stultus agnosticsu. Full identification may take a while. Xe might even be a hybrid. We can get some good mileage out of hybrids.

  118. A. R says

    Og: A new subspecies of Accomodare stultus has been added for scifi: pseudoagnosticus.

  119. A. R says

    theophontes: Random attacks of misogyny are certainly possible, and have been observed, but raj’s misogyny was too extreme for that.

  120. consciousness razor says

    Not at all. It is important to realise that life-like phenomenon can have non-life origins. His explanation of the rules already presupposes life. Unnecessarily.

    It’s just metaphorical language. Yes, we should be careful that it isn’t misunderstood, but I don’t think it’s a problem. Anyway, (almost?) all the interesting patterns have both “live” and “dead” cells. So, if there could ever be an organism in that environment, it would be made of both kinds of cells (whatever you call them), as would its spaceship, its computer and everything else.

  121. theophontes 777 says

    @ A.R

    More like teh linkies DFTD.

    @ conciousness razor

    Yes, we should be careful that it isn’t misunderstood, … Anyway, (almost?) all the interesting patterns have both “live” and “dead” cells.

    If there are any chemists/physicists to rewrite the rules (lurking as we speak?) in another form we can head off the literalist/presuppositionalist problems at the pass. (I cannot think of any succinct “dead” analogy off-the-bat.)

  122. says

    Again the “agnostic”

    So to recap. The universe needs a god because it doesn’t make any sense for something to come from nothing, so instead we want to postulate a new entity that has the quality of ALWAYS existing, meaning it and IT ALONE is the only being that defies causality and is outside of time…yet somehow interacts with time, but not in anyway we see because it might just have started the ball rolling…leaving no evidence behind. But it’s better to assume that this unique, evidence less, timeless thing is the start of time and space because the alternative doesn’t make sense?

    Oh and just for kicks let’s give this creature a name like say…ooooh just out of no where picking up this book from bronze age mythology that lists a diety that is NOTHING at all like the postulated one…oh hey let’s name it that! That’s better than naming it “Hypothetical Genesis Anomaly” or anything like that!

    Because we are certainly not at all working FROM that mythology, finding out that the idea of God we have only because of it’s origin of that mythological prescientific religion is wrong and thus coming up with more and more adhoc ways to make it fit with our world view, no we’re not doing that.

    Scfi let me make my stance perfectly clear

    a) The idea of gods come from ancient mythology and beliefs. In the case of God it’s from the Bible

    b) The Bible is shown to be erroneous and not reliable

    c) The idea of God is thus NOT a relaible or reasonable belief, until we see outside evidence of it. The only reason we even have the concepti s because of mythology that we know to be wrong. It’s fruit from the poisoned tree until shown to be otherwise. All “philosopher’s” Gods are, are taking the original idea, that comes from mythology, and tweaking it to fit the world we know, ignoring that the source of the idea is debunked. It’s ad hoc rationalization.

    For instance we’re pretty damn sure that Xenu and Moroni are false because the fucking books that propose them we know were written by people bullshitting. Both fo them have mythologies that contradict facts. Xenu and Moroni may exist but we can’t even entertain those ideas because we know the source of those ideas are FALSE. If they do exist it’s just dumb luck that Smith/Hubbard wrote about them.

  123. consciousness razor says

    If there are any chemists/physicists to rewrite the rules (lurking as we speak?) in another form we can head off the literalist/presuppositionalist problems at the pass. (I cannot think of any succinct “dead” analogy off-the-bat.)

    No need for chemists or physicists. You could call them “zero” and “one.” The problem with sciency-sounding language (e.g. “vacuum” and “particle”) is that it’ll still be a metaphor which could be misleading some other way.

  124. A. R says

    Ing: That was the assumption I started with as well, but there are observable defined patterns that can be sued to loosely classify them. Though species level classification is always tricky.

  125. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    A.R.:

    I suspect that, as the initial forayers into the field of the taxonomy of trolls, our work will most likely be revised. Some of those damnable lumpers will come here and pare the species/subspecies list tremendously. Like that poor guy in South Africa with all of his protomammals.

  126. A. R says

    Ing: Yeah, that is indeed an issue. Subspecies are useful for resolving that, but not always.

    Og: Most likely.

  127. says

    @A.R.

    A practical issue is that with Protists you can better classify them now by genetics (in fact that’s about the only way you can do it) which is why you have some fairly long branches that have only a single species.

    The problem is that with Trolls you can’t trace shared ancestry, so you have to go on phylogeny.

  128. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    The problem is that with Trolls you can’t trace shared ancestry, so you have to go on phylogeny.

    So no one here wants to go through their jeans*?

    I can see that.

    *Intentional

  129. A. R says

    Ing: Yes, that is true. You could try and look for fossilized trolls in Usenet and Sb Pharyngula archives, but stupid people, of course, predate the internet.

  130. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    but stupid people, of course, predate the internet.

    Minor mind glitch. Everytime I see the word ‘predate,’ as in, comes before, my mind pronounes it is the first two syllables of predatory. So my mind glitch told me that stupid people were preying on the internet.

  131. A. R says

    So my mind glitch told me that stupid people were preying on the internet

    They do that too.

  132. says

    Opposablethumbs:

    Your rats have them some pretty eclectic tastes, Caine. I like to think of them as tiny connoisseurs … “Swan Vestas? Thank you, I’d love some. Mmmm, quite piquant – oh but you really must try this vintage box of Captain Webb!”

    Oh Sweet Universe, they would love that!

  133. says

    Scifi is trying like hell to have us disprove a negative again. Until it can provide conclusive physical evidence for its imaginary creator, there is no rational basis even to consider that fuckwittery. Scifi, put up or shut the fuck up. Welcome to science, which is proved, and your presuppositions, which aren’t.

    Ahhh…. I missed it so much. I was having withdrawal symptoms and all that. **Conclusive Physical Evidence**. You use these words so much, why don’t make an acronym **CPE**? And then place a little ‘TM’ on the upper right hand corner.

    I have a question for you again, if you are interested.

    If you material is all there is, do good horror movies (like The Exorcist) quite often scare the crap out of you? If so, why so? Be honest?

  134. says

    Why would anyone believe something for which there was NO FUCKING EVIDENCE?

    And I like horror movies and can get scared by them for the same reason I watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns and can worry about fictional characters being menaced by people in rubber facial prosthetics – BECAUSE I HAVE A FUCKING IMAGINATION.

  135. says

    And I like horror movies and can get scared by them for the same reason I watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns and can worry about fictional characters being menaced by people in rubber facial prosthetics – BECAUSE I HAVE A FUCKING IMAGINATION.

    Good point about having a fucking imagination. But if in your imagination you don’t believe in supernatural or the paranormal, then horror movies should never be able to scare you. Never mind their actual ratings, because they should all be rated ‘G’ for you. Like watching Donald Duck cartoons. Don’t you think they?

  136. says

    Never mind their actual ratings, because they should all be rated ‘G’ for you. Like watching Donald Duck cartoons.

    @rajkumar

    You realize that this is the same as saying that since you know something is fiction, you shouldn’t be disturbed by violence. Are you really so obtuse that you think being able to distinguish reality from fantasy negates the impact scary films or media are intended to have on human beings that evolved to prioritize social interactions and empathy?

  137. says

    You realize that this is the same as saying that since you know something is fiction, you shouldn’t be disturbed by violence. Are you really so obtuse that you think being able to distinguish reality from fantasy negates the impact scary films or media are intended to have on human beings that evolved to prioritize social interactions and empathy?

    In a way, Yes. But what I am saying is quite different.

    Let’s take violence: Violence happens in the real world, so it is a fact of life. When we see violence in movies, it disturbs (most of) us because we are seeing ‘some’ cruel facts of life. But when we see a movie in which a girl gets possessed by a demon, and a priest then performs some holy rituals on the girl to make the demon leave the girl’s body, we are not seeing facts of life. Those of us who do not believe in demons and holy rituals are seeing nothing more than humans performing cartoonish acts. Why should they call it ‘horror’ in the first place? Do these people wholeheartedly believe what they ‘think’ they don’t believe?

  138. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I thought I felt an increase in abject stupidity in the collective intelligence. Rajkumar is back, dragging us down again. Still no evidence for its claims. What a loser.

  139. Amphiox says

    Looks like we can add “imagination”, “horror”, and “you” to the list of english language words the raja is utterly unable to properly define.

  140. says

    I thought I felt an increase in abject stupidity in the collective intelligence. Rajkumar is back, dragging us down again. Still no evidence for its claims. What a loser.

    Well, being a hardcore materialist, you should know you can’t feel anything outside your body? That means, any intelligence you felt was your won intelligence, and any stupidity you felt was also your…. I am not saying this. You are.

  141. says

    Why?

    You’re a fucking idiot.

    W

    I ask again. Why?

    Kindly answer the question this time, instead of venting ages old hatred and resentment….

  142. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    If you material is all there is, do good horror movies (like The Exorcist) quite often scare the crap out of you?

    The Exorcist (both the old one with the green vomit and the new edition) is not a good horror movie. It didn’t scare me, it bored the pants off me.

    Something like “The Ring” is much better as ghosts/demons go.

    And you don’t need to believe in things to find them interesting as entertainment.

    Most people who enjoy Star Wars don’t think there are really Jedi, and most people who like Harry Potter aren’t searching for Hogwarts in their free time.

  143. John Morales says

    rajkumar:

    But if in your imagination you don’t believe in supernatural or the paranormal, then horror movies should never be able to scare you.

    Such stupidity!

    Apparently, the concept of the willing suspension of disbelief must be a novelty for you.

    (That one can imagine X does not entail that one believes X (though that one believes X does entail that one imagines X))

    Well, being a hardcore materialist, you should know you can’t feel anything outside your body?

    Such stupidity!

    (Wherever did you get the idea that non-supernaturalists imagine that one cannot feel anything outside their body?)

  144. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Well, being a hardcore materialist, you should know you can’t feel anything outside your body?

    How do you know it is real. Provide conclusive physical evidence, you and your idjits imagined it all….Welcome to reality, where you don’t fit in.

  145. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    Rajkumar, you are arguing that scary demons do not exist, but we can still have strong reactions to movies about them.

    So you admit that gods do not exist, but we can still have strong reactions to sermons about them.

    Right?

    (For what it’s worth, this nonbeliever doesn’t watch supernatural movies. But when I do, I get scared because the movie plays intense music and has people onscreen being scared, not because I believe in the goofy mothman.)

  146. says

    I ask again. Why?

    Kindly answer the question this time, instead of venting ages old hatred and resentment….

    I honestly can’t make you understand. This is a simple concept, in fact a basic part of being human and enjoying art, that you don’t understand it indicates that you basically don’t view us as people.

    Or you’re too stupid to understand basic concepts

  147. says

    I honestly can’t make you understand. This is a simple concept, in fact a basic part of being human and enjoying art, that you don’t understand it indicates that you basically don’t view us as people.

    Or you’re too stupid to understand basic concepts

    Honestly, I have no idea what you are you are on. But if your intention is to vent rage, resentment, and all the similar stuff that’s been cooking inside you … be my guest.

  148. says

    Rajkumar, you are arguing that scary demons do not exist, but we can still have strong reactions to movies about them.

    So you admit that gods do not exist, but we can still have strong reactions to sermons about them.

    Right?

    YEP. Those gods do not exist.

  149. says

    Apparently, the concept of the willing suspension of disbelief must be a novelty for you.

    No, but the concept of you as a human being living in this world is a novelty to me, because you are one of your kind. For one thing, you do not appear use language to communicate as most people do. You appear to use language to try to confuse people with your jargon. Looks like you have got too much going on in your mind. More than you could handle. Take a break. Now.

  150. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    UGGGGGGH how can you be this fucking stupid?

    The real question is why it would want to show the world it is this fucking stooooooopid by posting here?

  151. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    … be my guest

    No, no, rajkumar. YOU are PZ’s guest here, and you are being incredibly rude.

    You keep acting snottily superior, while going against everything this blog is about. You try our patience, and then you assume our justifiable anger somehow proves your points.

    And you have been asked repeatedly to leave.

    And you have lied, repeatedly, that you were going to leave.

    I don’t even know what your arguments are any more. Please, if you want to keep going here, restate your case in a few neat paragraphs, with justifications for your arguments.

    PZ is in a bad mood, and you are well overdue for banning.

    Even though you think being banned will prove your point, nobody else here thinks that. Nor will your continued presence here do anything to prove your point.

    Either start over or go away.

  152. Amphiox says

    We can now clearly add “language”, “communicate”, “concept”, “living”, “human”, “being”, and “as” to the list of english language words that the raja, evidently, cannot define.

  153. Amphiox says

    No, but the concept of you as a human being living in this world is a novelty to me

    It’s nice to see the raja come out and admit that it is an odious dehumanizing bigot, though of course that was already obvious long ago.

    Still, it is nice to see it actually admit it.

  154. Amphiox says

    It’s also amusing to see the raja imply that a phrase as common and well understood as “willing suspension of disbelief” counts as jargon intended to confuse.

    I suppose, given the raja’s evident problems with the english language, it might be confusing to it.

    But that is not our problem.

  155. says

    No, no, rajkumar. YOU are PZ’s guest here, and you are being incredibly rude.

    I am sorry, but it is hardly my fault. I was told it was a **rude** blog. What do you expect from me on a rude blog? But in the end, most of the abuse has come from your side, and not from me. I still can’t see how I am being more rude than your guys? Just because I am not submitting to your beliefs? Like when you call me a sexist, I refuse to accept it? Is this what piss you off? In that case, state your wishes and desires clearly.

  156. says

    And no I don’t mean philosophy or science, I mean you fail to understand basic terms and concepts everyday people use to communicate.

    It’s not our job to teach you, much less if we have to first instruct you in English fluency before we can even get anywhere.

    Ah that. I never asked you to teach me anything. I just asked you a question, which you refused to answer. That comment was for a character called “John Morales”. Not you.

  157. A. R says

    No amount of facepalming, double facepalming, headdesking, or headflooring will do here. I submit simply this.

  158. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    You appear to use language to try to confuse people with your jargon.

    Your stupidity and ignorance isn’t anyone’s fault but your own.

  159. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    Rajkumar, I wish and desire that you go away.

  160. John Morales says

    rajkumar:

    But if in your imagination you don’t believe in supernatural or the paranormal, then horror movies should never be able to scare you.

    Apparently, the concept of the willing suspension of disbelief must be a novelty for you.

    No

    Such stupidity!

    You appear to use language to try to confuse people with your jargon.

    I need no jargon to confuse such as you.

  161. says

    Rajkumar, I wish and desire that you go away.

    OK. Since one’s being honest here, thy wish and thy desire become my commands. So I shall leave in peace…

    Good bye

  162. says

    I need no jargon to confuse such as you.

    You can’t confuse me with anything Johnnie. I am not your usual Deepak Chopra Type. Just in case you didn’t notice….

    Bye

    Have fun!

  163. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    OK. Since one’s being honest here, thy wish and thy desire become my commands. So I shall leave in peace…

    Good bye

    Try to lay off the paint chip snacks. They’re having an effect.

    Because damn, you’re a moron.

  164. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    You can’t confuse me with anything Johnnie. I am not your usual Deepak Chopra Type. Just in case you didn’t notice….

    Maybe not but you’re equally as fucking stupid.

  165. John Morales says

    rajkumar:

    Good bye

    2 minutes later:

    bye

    <snicker>

    (Such a limited repertoire this specimen possesses)

  166. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    But if in your imagination you don’t believe in supernatural or the paranormal, then horror movies should never be able to scare you.

    A contender for dumbest thing said today.

    First it’s not in my or their imagination that the supernatural doesn’t exist. It’s reality. If it is not, show my I’m wrong.

    Second the art of building suspense and delivering has nothing to do with supernatural. It has to do with good story telling.

    Why are you so dumb is the real question here.

    Seriously. Why?

  167. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am not your usual Deepak Chopra Type. Just in case you didn’t notice….

    Oh no? I see no difference. Lots of noise, no evidence, and the stooooopidity fills a dozen or so Hefty 30 gallon bags with excrement.

  168. scifi says

    Nerd of a redhead,
    “We’re still waiting Scifi for your positive and conclusive physical evidence you are right”

    Just as I’m still waiting for your positive and conclusive evidence you are right that it was due to natural means with no guidance whatsoever. Good luck on that.

  169. A. R says

    Holy Jeebus on a stick! They’re tag-teaming us. Oh, and I believe those were flounces 46 and 47 from raj.

  170. scifi says

    Ing,
    “So to recap. The universe needs a god because it doesn’t make any sense for something to come from nothing, so instead we want to postulate a new entity that has the quality of ALWAYS existing, meaning it and IT ALONE is the only being that defies causality and is outside of time…yet somehow interacts with time, but not in anyway we see because it might just have started the ball rolling…leaving no evidence behind. But it’s better to assume that this unique, evidence less, timeless thing is the start of time and space because the alternative doesn’t make sense?”

    Holy smokes! I think he’s got it, more or less. Very good.

    “Scfi let me make my stance perfectly clear

    a) The idea of gods come from ancient mythology and beliefs. In the case of God it’s from the Bible

    b) The Bible is shown to be erroneous and not reliable

    c) The idea of God is thus NOT a relaible or reasonable belief, until we see outside evidence of it. The only reason we even have the concepti s because of mythology that we know to be wrong. It’s fruit from the poisoned tree until shown to be otherwise. All “philosopher’s” Gods are, are taking the original idea, that comes from mythology, and tweaking it to fit the world we know, ignoring that the source of the idea is debunked. It’s ad hoc ”

    Sigh! Just when I thought you were getting it, you make an assumption like this. I have already stated that all religions have it wrong. You must not have been listening. I also stated that the Bible is erroneous. You are NOT talking to a Christian creationists. No, no, no. I have stated a number of times that religions feel that a creator is necessary and then attempt to describe this creator. All too often, a creator is considered to be just like humans complete with all their failings like jealousy and pettiness. This is unlikely, in fact, if a creator exists, it is far beyond anything we could imagine. OK?

  171. John Morales says

    scifi:

    I have already stated that all religions have it wrong.
    [...]
    I have stated a number of times that religions feel that a creator is necessary and then attempt to describe this creator.

    Your attempted sophistry is mildly amusing, feeble as it is.

    (If you consider that all religions have it wrong, and further that religions feel that a creator is necessary, then you must perforce consider that the belief that a creator is necessary is wrong)

  172. says

    Just as I’m still waiting for your positive and conclusive evidence you are right that it was due to natural means with no guidance whatsoever. Good luck on that.

    Are you telling us here that, when faced with a phenomenon of as yet unknown cause, we should give equal weight to natural and supernatural explanations?
    History is loaded with phenomena once thought to be of supernatural origin, from the rising sun to lightning to earthquakes, that, upon further investigation, turned out to be perfectly natural.
    We know a whole of things happen naturally. The natural causes can be demonstrated. Whereas absolutely nothing has ever been shown to have been caused by beings with magical powers. Not ever.
    At what point is it reasonable to conclude that, barring clear evidence, natural explanations are by far more likely to be true? It’s not us, but the weight of history that puts the burden of proof on you. When we posit natural causes, we are positing something that has repeatedly turned out to be right. We don’t need any new evidence to show that natural causes happen in this universe. They do.
    Stop pretending that natural and supernatural explanations are on equal ground and require equal evidence. That just makes you look thick.

  173. John Morales says

    scifi:

    This is unlikely, in fact, if a creator exists, it is far beyond anything we could imagine. OK?

    Heh.

    IOW, what is imagined is far beyond anything we could imagine.

    (Way to contradict yourself)

  174. scifi says

    Rajkumar,
    says “I am sorry, but it is hardly my fault. I was told it was a **rude** blog. What do you expect from me on a rude blog? But in the end, most of the abuse has come from your side, and not from me. I still can’t see how I am being more rude than your guys? Just because I am not submitting to your beliefs?”

    I hate to say it, but Rajkumar does have a point. People here do get a bit raw at times, but when Rajkumar went back at them, all of a sudden that is not a good thing. Why not? Why is it OK for regulars here to be rude, but not for Rajkumar, who goes against their beliefs? Seems like a double standard. Speaking of double standard. I am often told that my suggestion for a creator is invalid as a first cause since I don’t have any evidence, but it is OK for others here to insist that the first cause was due to natural means when they don’t have evidence either. They argue that only science is valid. I like science as much as the next person and will look for natural means, but when you look at circumstances, it isn’t all that difficult to come to the conclusion that something from nothing expanding in a finely tuned universe may require a creator and may be more likely than it happening by itself with no guidance what so ever. At least, I will admit that I could be wrong. Here’s where the double standard comes into play again because many here will deny the possibility that they could be wrong and that a creator could be the true answer.

  175. Amphiox says

    This is unlikely, in fact, if a creator exists, it is far beyond anything we could imagine. OK?

    Something that is “beyond anything we could imagine” is an incoherent concept. If it is “beyond anything we could imagine” then, by definition, we CANNOT IMAGINE IT. If we cannot imagine it, then we cannot talk about it, and it is a waste of time to try.

    Scifi is flat-out talking out of both sides of its mouth in a two-faced intellectually dishonest fashion if it is simultaneously claiming that a creator is “more likely” and makes “more sense” than natural means while at the same time pretending to claim that a creator is “beyond anything we can imagine”.

    What is more likely and makes more sense, something simple enough that we CAN imagine it, like natural means, or something so utterly stupefyingly complex that it is “beyond anything we imagine”?

    But, of course, scifi is quite clearly LYING about the “beyond anything we could imagine” part. It has been busy IMAGINING this creator all thread. It is IMAGINING that this creator is capable of creating universes. It is IMAGINING that this creator can capable of fine-tuning multiple parameters. It is IMAGINING that this creator has a desire to produce life and fine-tunes universes to this end. It has IMAGINED that this creator required several attempts at it to get it right.

    Just as I’m still waiting for your positive and conclusive evidence you are right that it was due to natural means with no guidance whatsoever.

    I also see scifi STILL evades the concept of parsimony. It continues to repeat, ad nauseum, the above already-refuted argument. One can only conclude, by now, that it is deliberately and dishonestly evading the point.

    But I will repeat it again, just to illustrate the level of repeated intellectual dishonesty we are witnessing here.

    Evidence not required to prove a negative. Guidance is a POSITIVE. NO guidance is a negative. The burden of evidence is on scifi, not Nerd.

    In the absence of evidence, parsimony determines which theory is more likely, and thus which should be preferred. No evidence is required to favour natural means over creators, because natural means is MORE PARSIMONIOUS (= MORE LIKELY).

    (Evidence is required to favour one natural hypothesis over another natural hypothesis, since “natural means” does not encompass a single hypothesis, but many. But that is not what scifi is asking.)

  176. scifi says

    feralboy12

    The ancients may have gotten it wrong when they believed that the sun was a god dragging a flaming chariot across the sky, but in the end, that sun could be the result of a creator who may have started off our universe.

  177. scifi says

    A. R.,
    “This is a rude blog”

    Fine, than quit bellyaching when someone with a differing view responds in kind.

  178. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just as I’m still waiting for your positive and conclusive evidence you are right that it was due to natural means with no guidance whatsoever. Good luck on that.

    Sorry fuckwitted idjit, the science, which is the naturalistic explanation, is the null hypothesis. Which means I don’t have to prove anything, but you, who thinks they have something else, must show conclusive physical evidence for their delusional thinking. Where is your evidence? It is required and you must supply it. Science says mine in in place, without needing your imaginary creator.

    Welcome to Null Hypothesis, used to get around your inane and indefensible requirement that we prove a negative. Now, if you had a parsimonious explanation, rather than the more cumbersome explanation, you would be the null hypothesis. Welcome to logic 101. You lose.

  179. A. R says

    scifi: It is not that you respond in kind, it is that your view is highly pure, weapons-grade lunacy worthy of nothing but humiliation. You are an unintelligent fool, and a poor writer to boot; yet you seem to think that by failing to comprehend and ignoring legitimate arguments against your nonsense makes you right. Well it doesn’t. So please, do everyone here a favor and present your legitimate, peer-review evidence, or leave us in peace.

  180. Amphiox says

    Here’s where the double standard comes into play again because many here will deny the possibility that they could be wrong and that a creator could be the true answer.

    Yet another bald-faced lie from scifi here.

    The parsimony argument is a LIKELIHOOD argument. It is EXPLICIT in all likelihood arguments that there is a possibility of BOTH (or ALL) outcomes. The parsimony argument DIRECTLY ACKNOWLEDGES the possibility for the less parsimonious solution to be correct, but it RANK ORDERS the DEGREE of possibility. Those hypotheses whose a priori possibility is too low are not likely enough to be correct to waste limited time and resources, both monetary and human, which should instead be devoted to the more parsimonious, more likely explanation.

    In a world of infinite resources, the scientific method would not need parsimony. We could test every imaginable hypothesis, simultaneously.

    But this universe is NOT one of infinite resources. It had apparently been fine-tuned to be that way.

    From the beginning we have all been making parsimony arguments. Some of us have couched it in different terms, but the heart of all our anti-creator arguments is parsimony. So for scifi to claim that we deny the possibility that a creator could be the true answer is a BLATANT LIE.

    And with that pitiful lie scifi has, at least for me, crossed the intellectual dishonesty Rubicon. Henceforth it is no longer worth my time and effort to engage it with arguments. It deserves only ridicule from now on.

  181. Amphiox says

    Fine, than quit bellyaching when someone with a differing view responds in kind.

    Another lie from scifi. A typical intellectually dishonest deflection tactic.

    It apparently does not comprehend the difference between tone and content. The odious raja is being excoriated for the CONTENT (or lack thereof) of its rude posts, not the rudeness specifically. And if it gets banned, it will banned for the CONTENT (or lack thereof) of its posts.

    But it is not surprising that scifi has sunk to the point of attempting to defend the indefensible raja.

    Truly pathetic.

  182. John Morales says

    scifi:

    I am often told that my suggestion for a creator is invalid as a first cause since I don’t have any evidence, but it is OK for others here to insist that the first cause was due to natural means when they don’t have evidence either.

    Such stupidity!

    (The very use of the expression “the first cause” is a give-away, in that it presupposes such a thing)

  183. mikmik says

    Scifi asserts: What I am saying is that a an intelligent force guiding it could very well make more sense than something happening all by itself with no guidance and by chance.

    Actually, it could very well make even more sense that one of Santa’s Reindeers is beaming thoughts into your mind about all this. Hmmmm, let’s see what else could very well make even yet again more almost for sure sense to have happened. Well, I give up. The only thing that even moreso may very well have happened is that an even more complicated, ordered, and fine tuned meta mega GOD may very well more likely have created yahweh who then may very well have created a big bag of popcorn and a universe to watch unfold while he ate it.

    Wonder how much butter he likes?

  184. mikmik says

    Furthermore, even if meta mega GOD may very well have created yahweh, did ho do it freely, or was it not by meta mega free will that he did it?

    Scifi, you seem to know about this sort of thing. Did God #1 have free will, or was he caused/predetermined to create yahweh, and if yahweh didn’t have free will, can it logically make sense to even say he created anything? He wouldn’t have that capacity, by definition, to create, any more than a falling rock creates its trajectory and collision with the ground.

  185. theophontes 777 says

    @ consciousness razor #180

    it’ll still be a metaphor which could be misleading some other way.

    We would get (without metaphor):

    Requirements:

    1. Grid paper (with squares marked randomly, or in given patterns).
    2. Pencil (HB).
    3. Eraser.

    Squares are marked or marks erased according to a set of rules:

    For a square that is marked:

    Each square with one or no marked neighbors is erased.
    Each square with four or more marked neighbors is erased.
    Each square with two or three marked neighbors shall not be erased.

    For a square that is unmarked:

    Each square with three marked neighbors shall itself be marked.

    It remains abstract (perhaps too much so for a child seeking examples of real world applications). The “living agent” metaphor is easy to understand ,and in a measure appropriate, as emergent phenomenon often have real living agents. But the real Aha! moment is realising the interface between dead matter (chemist/physicist) and life(like) behaviour.

    (This is a hobby horse of mine I am afraid.)

    …..

    In apology and as compensation for chewing up teh thread:

    Tintin for TZT: (picture)

    And for TET: (picture)

  186. John Morales says

    theophontes, APL can be even more concise:

    life←{↑1 ⍵∨.∧3 4=+/,¯1 0 1∘.⊖¯1 0 1∘.⌽⊂⍵}

  187. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Back in the mid 70s, I crashed an IBM System/360 by bad APL coding.

    (Oops!)

  188. says

    1) Where does God live / exist?

    (Don’t answer with where it isn’t, eg. “outside spacetime”. That’s a given, as God can’t have created the place in which it exists without existing somewhere prior, can it?)

    2) Where did that place come from?

    If the claim is that the place is eternal, you’ve postulated a place that needed no creator, which is apparently something too unlikely to believe. Therefore, a creator God should be less believable than a naturalistic universe.

  189. John Morales says

    chigau, like Yoda you think I speak, hmm?

    Interesting, that is.

  190. theophontes 777 says

    @ John Morales

    life←{↑1 ⍵∨.∧3 4=+/,¯1 0 1∘.⊖¯1 0 1∘.⌽⊂⍵}

    A thing of beauty and precision (no doubt). I am just concerned that my 10 year old niece might struggle with the nomenclature.

  191. consciousness razor says

    theophontes:

    It remains abstract (perhaps too much so for a child seeking examples of real world applications).

    Yeah, maybe so. The pencil-and-paper idea is okay, but when there are thousands of cells going through thousands of states, it sort of violates your intuitions (mine, at least) to think that a bunch of marks on paper could ever be intelligent or alive or anything like that. Of course, people are biased against digital bits of information in much the same way; but they make you think about it in more practical terms and perhaps make it harder to confuse which level of reality is relevant. The time it takes for you to mark up a sheet of paper with thousands of points, then thousands more sheets like it (as opposed to the time it takes for a computer to do the same) makes it seem like there could never “really” be intelligence or life in such an environment, because it would take a vast amount of time for you to see a single thought occur. That is so different from our own experience in so many ways that it’s hard to identify it as the same kind of phenomenon.

    Searle’s Chinese Room comes to mind, as well as Dennett’s concept of an “intuition pump.” Not sure if you’re familiar with it. Searle used “bits of paper” and “water pipes” and such to make it seem like that sort of system could never understand Chinese. Part of his incredulity was because he was painting a picture which doesn’t seem like our own everyday experiences — except where he inserts himself as a homunculus into the scenario, which is supposed to drive you toward his point. Thirty years later, I think he’s still adamant that it’s a good argument.

    The “living agent” metaphor is easy to understand ,and in a measure appropriate, as emergent phenomenon often have real living agents.

    Fiddle with the rules and maybe it could be useful as a simple model of real (not virtual) populations, so that an entire organism is represented as one bit. That’s just to say that cellular automata can work on more than one “level” of reality, and that things can “emerge” from middle or upper levels not just the most fundamental “level” of elementary particles. So perhaps it’s best if we don’t suppose there needs to be a single set of terminology for all sorts of different applications.

    But the real Aha! moment is realising the interface between dead matter (chemist/physicist) and life(like) behaviour.

    Well while we’re at it, I don’t really like your use of “dead matter.” It isn’t “dead” if it’s not part of a living organism. It’s just matter. A rock isn’t dead, alive, or undead; it’s inanimate. And if we eat the rock to get some minerals (because sometimes we do crazy stuff like that), it’s still inorganic even though it’s part of an organism.

  192. theophontes 777 says

    @ consciousness razor

    The pencil-and-paper idea is okay, but …

    We must take what we can. I do not think there is a simple way to relate a simple paper and pencil model to something as complex as us. On the other hand this is not necessary. The model may be more appropriate in a general discussion of, for example, abio-genesis. We just need to get from inanimate matter to something that conducts itself in a lifelike manner.

    It would appear that the underlying rules are inherent to matter, there is no need for them to be spelled out by an external agent. Iron , for example, does not behave like Helium and so forth, so that interactions are defined by the properties of inanimate elements. The same holds true for all manner of compounds. And so on up.

    The application of rules (which in no way need imply life) can give rise to animate life. Enough has been achieved by demonstrating something this simple and foundational.

    Thanks for the linky to the Chinese Room. I shall have to google some more, it looks very promising. Cool that he also refers to pencil and paper. I think that point is clear. We do not need to be put off by it, because in such an mental exercise, we are not bound by any dimensions. That it takes time to check and erase boxes, is irrelevant to the exercise. Fascinating too, would be a series of – russian doll like – Chinese Rooms. I do not place to much faith in the need of a human intellect at the core.

    I found this on youtube: Amazing Game of Life. It could have been executed by hand, using stop frame animation to illustrate, but used a computer instead.

  193. theophontes 777 says

    … continued.

    Wow, the interwebz is amazing.

    John Conway on youtube. “How do you define a cat?”

    My interest in this does not relate so much to modeling life, but to urban development. The multitude of independent agents acting independently, as in the case of a city, are – it seems – guided by underlying principles. Though computer programs tend to be linear, it is possible to set up (pseudo) parallel programs that allow for interaction between agents and between agents and their environments. This process can be recorded and presented to show the underlying interactions. These (ideally) correspond to equivalent real life urban situations. The determining factor: Layout. The weft of the urban fabric itself, its physical shape, is the great determining factor in these interactions.

    What purpose can such models serve? Well, a simple example is the value of land within the city. This is very much a function of the layout. More passing trade correlates to higher and value. We can get an understanding of this from rental prices or crime rates (less value financially tends to correlate to poor connectivity correlates to low traffic correlates to higher crime rates.) More importantly we could run a simple model that returns this information. The advantage being that we can predict the value of alternative designs and their impacts.

    [aside] In terms of complexity, the game of life can be programmed on the level of the substrate in a Starlogo ™ style programming environment. That is the interaction of tiles based on simple rules. In a program such as I describe one would need to program both the substrate (the city) and the agents that interact with it.

  194. scifi says

    Nerd of a red head,
    “Sorry fuckwitted idjit, the science, which is the naturalistic explanation, is the null hypothesis. Which means I don’t have to prove anything”

    Huh! You claim that when it comes to science you don’t have to prove anything. Really? And you call yourself a scientist? If your wife were on here, her handle should be red head of a dead head. LOL!

  195. theophontes 777 says

    @ snoof

    Sadly Spawnphontes is too old for me to read this to her as a bedtime story:

    “crystallization and decay oscillator” [DRH 3/27/90] *ahem*

    Once upon a time, extensible to period 2700+1950N. A p150 gun shoots gliders toward a pair of PDs. The first is reflected 180 degrees and hits the second, forming a honey farm. Subsequent gliders grow a crystal back toward the gun; every 11 gliders add another pair of beehives to the crystal. Eventually, an eater stops the growth and the crystal begins to decay: two successive gliders delete one pair of beehives. (This is based on an earlier pattern found and lost by RWG, using a p46 gun.), and they lived happily ever after…

  196. theophontes 777 says

    @ scifi

    If your wife were on here, her handle should be red head of a dead head. LOL!

    Fuck off scifi! Oh, and your understanding of science is an embarrassment to your imaginary deity. (You did not look up the “null hypothesis” linky did you? Lazy troll.)

  197. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Syfy’s use of humor and insult is as ineffectual as his defense of a fine tuned universe.

  198. scifi says

    Amphiox,
    “From the beginning we have all been making parsimony arguments. Some of us have couched it in different terms, but the heart of all our anti-creator arguments is parsimony. So for scifi to claim that we deny the possibility that a creator could be the true answer is a BLATANT LIE.”

    Fine, then come out and actually say it that a creator is a possibility. BTW, I didn’t say everyone said there is not a creator only that there are some here who say there is none. There is no denying that Nerd of a Red head has said so over and over to the point of ad nauseum. Besides, this is an atheist which means: Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

    If you admitted that you didn’t know for sure, you would be an agnostic like me.

  199. says

    Fine, then come out and actually say it that a creator is a possibility.

    A creator is less of a possibility than invisible dragons that float alongside you everywhere you go and keep you warm with their dragon breath.

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Huh! You claim that when it comes to science you don’t have to prove anything. Really?

    What I said, fuckwitted idjit, was that the naturalistic (scientific) explanation is accepted as fact (null hypothesis) until you prove otherwise by showing your imaginary creator exists with solid and conlusive physical evidence. Any hypothesis with your imaginary creator is ignored as inconsequential tripe, and is not the equal of any naturalistic theory (by parsimony), without you providing any evidence for your imaginary creator. And you have failed to do so. All you have are presuppositions and presuppositional arguments, which are clearly false as we have explained to you ad nauseum.

  201. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    All this time and Syfy still cannot be bothered to figure out how to blockquote, use bold or italicize.

  202. says

    Of course, nobody actually believes in the possibility of invisible dragons being the source of our body heat–nobody with any sense at least–because it doesn’t make sense based on what we know about reality. So why do people like sc*f*@# here argue that we should leave room for doubt for possibilities that are even more improbable than the possibility of our body heat being generated by the breath of invisible dragons?

  203. scifi says

    Ing,
    “FEEL. No evidence. Just FEEL.”

    I was talking about all the various religions. In the case of me, I’m using reason why and, no, I have no evidence, but again, I repeat, science does not have evidence either how it all started. Again, you are using double standard. It is OK for science to have no evidence, but not for me.

  204. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Fine, then come out and actually say it that a creator is a possibility.

    Your creator has less a possibility existing than you actually apologizing for wasting our time with your bullshit here. So small it can and will be ignored, like my chances of winning the lottery if I don’t even buy a ticket.

    Your deity/creataor must have solid and conclusive physical evidence for its existence to be considered anything other than a delusion in your mind. Where is your evidence????

  205. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    If you admitted that you didn’t know for sure, you would be an agnostic like me.

    Sorry. There is absolutely zero evidence pointing to a creator so there is as much reason for me to believe in one as there is flying unicorns who fart skittles and sing opera like Pavarotti.

    However, if you were to present me with any evidence I would be open to changing my mind.

    But I’m not going give any credence to some infinitesimally small possibility that a creator might exist because you can come up with excuses for why there may be a possibility for one. I can come up with a may scenario for leprechauns. So will you give an agnostic view towards them? Everything we know about this universe continues to move us away from any and all supernatural explanations for how it works.

    Unless you can start providing examples where we went searching for an explanation for something and the only answer we could come to and back up was a supernatural cause?

  206. chigau (副) says

    <blockquote>quoted words</blockquote>

    quoted words

    A baboon could do it.

  207. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Why does Syfy keep referring to Nerd of Redhead as ‘Nerd of a red head’? Did I miss something?

    It is his attempt at wit.

  208. theophontes 777 says

    @scifi

    BTW, I didn’t say everyone said there is not a creator only that there are some here who say there is none.

    Not even wrong again. Nerd was referring to The Null Hypothesis. Take your head out of your proverbial and read the article. Stop making shit up. Almighty Zeus ™ does not appreciate liars.

  209. consciousness razor says

    Fine, then come out and actually say it that a creator is a possibility. BTW, I didn’t say everyone said there is not a creator only that there are some here who say there is none. There is no denying that Nerd of a Red head has said so over and over to the point of ad nauseum. Besides, this is an atheist which means: Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

    If you admitted that you didn’t know for sure, you would be an agnostic like me.

    First, it’s clear that you haven’t the slightest fucking clue what agnosticism is. One can be an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist. One can also be a gnostic atheist or a gnostic theist. Agnosticism is not an alternative position somewhere in the middle of the two; it’s orthogonal to both.

    Second, the possibility of a creator god depends on what a god is supposed to be, which is why we ask you to specify things about the one you propose might exist, because some are impossible while others may not be. I say they “may not be” because that likewise depends on what any others must be like in order for you to call them a “god” rather than something else. Since you’re the one claiming things about gods and trying to explain things with them, it’s up to you to actually make a substantial claim instead of dishing out vague waffling and fallacies. When that’s all you give us, what else is there for to do, except not believe you have any good answers and that your ideas about this god are worthless at best?

  210. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I am an agnostic because I cannot prove or disprove the existence of a deity.

    I am an atheist because I do not see the reason to live my life according to the dictate of any deity or religious creed.

  211. KG says

    I am not your usual Deepak Chopra Type. Just in case you didn’t notice…. – rajkumar

    Indeed not: you’re not clever enough to make a fortune out of spewing your garbage, unlike Chopra.

    Fine, then come out and actually say it that a creator is a possibility. – scifi

    A creator is a possibility. Like most here, I’m an agnostic atheist. The two are, contrary to your ignorant (although admittedly common) assumption, orthogonal: agnosticism is the position that we cannot reach justifiable certainty about the existence of deities; atheism is the belief that there are none. In the same way that I am an agnostic atheist, of course, I am also an agnostic awerewolfist.

    BTW, scifi, when are you going to answer the point I have now raised several times, which blows your stupid “argument” for a creator out of the water. You’ll find it stated@111.

  212. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I repeat, science does not have evidence either how it all started.

    Ah, the fuckwtted deity of the gaps argument again? Science does have an explanation. You might not like it, and think (har!) its incomplete, but it does. You lose. And what makes it likely, is that it doesn’t contain your imaginary creator, and it never will. Your creator only exists between your ears.

    No agnostic would be fighting like you have to get a creator accepted. You are a deist, if not a theist. Your arguments were theistic. Your presuppositions were theistic. Your claim that science hasn’t demonstrated its theories is theistic. And you wonder why we consider you a dumb liar and bullshitter, thinking we wouldn’t notice that?

    I’m agnostic. I just use the null hypothesis and lack of evidence for the tentative conclusion that deities doen’t exist. I ignore possibilities, which are nothing but exercises in mental masturbation. That conclusion is subject to change with EVIDENCE. And I don’t expect to see that evidence in my lifetime.

  213. scifi says

    Aratina Cage,
    “So why do people like sc*f*@# here argue that we should leave room for doubt for possibilities that are even more improbable than the possibility of our body heat being generated by the breath of invisible dragons?”

    And you wonder why I am incredulous when there are some here who say I am lying when I say there are some here who refuse to admit that a creator is a possibility? I rest my case.

  214. says

    I guess I’ll put sc*f*@# down as one who believes it is possible that invisible dragons generate body heat in all humans. It’s a very small list. (Only one entry so far!)

  215. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    And you wonder why I am incredulous when there are some here who say I am lying when I say there are some here who refuse to admit that a creator is a possibility? I rest my case.

    And therefore, we must pay fidelity to the concept of a creator.

    How fucking fuzzy.

  216. scifi says

    Janine,
    “I am an atheist because I do not see the reason to live my life according to the dictate of any deity or religious creed.”

    If a deity wished to be worshiped and in a certain way you would think that a deity that created everything would be able to get that point across. Instead, you have numerous religions with different beliefs what this deity is like and how this deity wishes to be worshiped. So, I do not see why you would want to waste your time trying to figure out what a deity wants when, if this deity exists, it has, obviously, not made any attempts to make them clearly known. That said, you can still be an agnostic and admit that you don’t know.

  217. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    And yet Syfy wastes what few working brain cells he has to argue for the possibility of a creator.

    I would rather masturbate than spend time with his form of mental masturbation. At least I would get a moment of pleasure.

  218. mikmik says

    scifi:

    I am often told that my suggestion for a creator is invalid as a first cause since I don’t have any evidence, but it is OK for others here to insist that the first cause was due to natural means when they don’t have evidence either.

    Such stupidity!

    It’s so fucking arbitrary, so stunningly arbitrary. So unimaginative and boring.

    It has nothing going for it, no extrapolation from known physics, no understanding of physics, no common sense, no reason or purpose for it happening, it is transparently childish wishful pining, it explains nothing, answers nothing, absolutely nothing is added to what we know, and in fact, adds a layer of confusion and inexplicability…

    Why is your imagination so painfully limited, Scifi?

    Start here The Scale of the Universe

    Watch this: What Caused the Big Bang?

    I a major problem is that everywhere the start of the universe is conceptualized and pictured, it starts with black nothingness and suddenly a tiny spot of light appears and expands.

    This is wrong, but it cements in our minds that there was, or is, something outside of space+time. For people like scifi, if there is something outside of space+time, a.k.a. reality, or the universe, it might as well be god. That idea is obviously fucking idiotic in the extreme, but scifi needs to understand that there is NO SUCH THING AS ‘OUTSIDE’, there is no place or time interval for there to be anything, let alone a god operating on the principle of cause and effect.

    There’s my proof that there is no god, scifi, because there isn’t even any possibility that there was a god.
    You can imagine anything you bloody well want, scifi, the only constraint is that you don’t have any capacity to imagine it; intellectually, physically, theoretically, emotionally, whimsically, paradoxically, – there is nothing there to imagine about. In fact, there isn’t even such a thing as ‘nothing’ and/or ‘something’ where you are trying to go, scifi, and rajkumar.
    There is ‘not anything’ and there is ‘not nothing’, it is as inaccessible as the idea of quantum mechanics is to a brainless corpse, ya fucking zombie!

  219. theophontes 777 says

    @ scifi

    You are an atheist, by definition, because you do not believe in Almighty Zeus ™ and The Gods of Olympus. (I do not know why you beat around the bush with your heretical bullshit, but you wil suffer amongst the shades, as will all mortals.)

  220. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    And you wonder why I am incredulous when there are some here who say I am lying when I say there are some here who refuse to admit that a creator is a possibility? I rest my case.

    Possibility does not equal evidence of. Especially when you have to strangle the possibility out of an army of what-ifs.

  221. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    You claim that when it comes to science you don’t have to prove anything.

    You have been told this many, many, many times before. Science does not prove things. Ever. Proofs are for mathematics. You are so hung up on this idea that it prevents you grokking science. Cease all recto-cranial activity and read some actual science books.

    Fine, then come out and actually say it that a creator is a possibility.

    You insufferable asshat! No one here has claimed that a ‘creator’ is impossible. We have, however, repeatedly shown that the naturalistic explanation is supported with evidence while the ‘creator’ explanation has none. Zero. Zip. Nada. No evidence, every, anywhere, has come to light suggesting even the possibility of a creator. YOu claim it exists. The burden of evidence is on you, so get your head out of your arse and start providing evidence!

    I am an agnostic because I cannot prove or disprove the existence of a deity.

    I am an atheist because I do not see the reason to live my life according to the dictate of any deity or religious creed.

    Quoted for absolute fucking truth!

    I repeat, science does not have evidence either how it all started.

    And it has been pointed out many, many, many times by many, many, many commenters just how full of shit that statement is. There is actual evidence for the big bang. There are mathematical models that show how the universe may have begun. And every single time you are faced with anything real, you shove your poor benighted head even further up your arse, put your fingers in your ears, and start chanting, “Lalalalala I can’t hear you lalalalal I can’t hear you . . . .”

    Put up or shut up. Where is one piece of actual evidence (no, arguing that you do not understand it therefore gods is not evidence) showing the existence of any gods at any time in any place? Just one.

  222. mikmik says

    And you wonder why I am incredulous when there are some here who say I am lying when I say there are some here who refuse to admit that a creator is a possibility? I rest my case.

    You mean me? Yup, I say with 100% certainty that there is no possibility that a god created reality.
    I claim that you can not, in any way shape or conception, make the idea even conceptually possible, okay?

    You can’t do it, and I know for a fact that you wont.
    I just took away your ‘possibility’ argument, so you can’t even claim that.

    You can start there. Explain how the idea of a god before the start of inflation is possible.

    Hurry up, man, I’m waiting.

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And you wonder why I am incredulous when there are some here who say I am lying when I say there are some here who refuse to admit that a creator is a possibility? I rest my case [my brainless fuckwittery].

    It is nothing but a delusion in your mind without evidence. Possibilities are nothing but meaningless mental fiction without evidence, and can be ignored. WHERE IS YOUR EVIDENCE???

  224. mikmik says

    Sorry, Brother Ogvorbis, I didn’t mean to contradict you. I just say that god isn’t possible in any meaningful sense of the word.

  225. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    Last two borkquoted paragraphs are, obviously, me.

  226. mikmik says

    I’m also gonna aks you again, scifi, what do you mean by god?
    You don’t even have a fucking clue what you are talking about, you expect anyone to agree to some undefined word about anything? There has to be something there to talk about. Not an event, not an ‘after’, but a fucking before and during – specifically, or there is nothing to agree to.

  227. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    Sorry, scifi. I was wrong. One person on this thread has made the claim that there is absolutely and unequivocably no possibility of the existence of gods. I disagree, as I stated above.

  228. mikmik says

    Scifi, do you admit that it’s possible that you could be leaning against a brick wall and suddenly be standing on the other side of it, with no way to get back through?

    It is possible, you know. Some people here will know what I’m talking about(probably most).
    Seeing you have no evidence that it is isn’t somehow possible (this analogy is going downhill, now), and has happened twice, so that you are now leaning against the outside of the wall, I insist you agree that with me that it very well may have happened!!!

    Right? I mean, right? You can even go here and calculate the fucking possibility, holy sheepshit!

    Right? Youmay very well have done this many times, it is possible, right!?

  229. mikmik says

    Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos
    3 May 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Sorry, scifi. I was wrong. One person on this thread has made the claim that there is absolutely and unequivocably no possibility of the existence of gods. I disagree, as I stated above.

    I couldn’t believe the timing I have. But, I’m playing devil’s advocate. I can’t, realistically, claim absolute knowledge of what’s possible in situations I can know nothing about.
    You are right, but only theoretically ;)

  230. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Scifi has fallen into the Absolute Knowledge™ Theist Trap. Philosophers have used tools, like null hypothesis and parsimony, to avoid the problems with Absolute Knowledge™. Science, which is also a very pragmatic, just approaches the truth asymptotically, never arriving at absolute truth, but getting close to it. Science makes no claims about Absolute Knowledge™.

    I don’t need to know the Absolute Truth™ that deities don’t exist for how I treat the subject. I just look at the evidence for deities and make a conclusion based on the present evidence. That then becomes the null hypothesis (non-existence), and I’ll treat that conclusion like it is the truth until further evidence comes along to change that conclusion. The conclusion makes me an atheist. The willingness to look at new evidence (not a philosophical argument) makes me an agnostic.

    That is the gnu atheism Scifi, and why your Absolute Bullshit™ is going nowhere..

  231. consciousness razor says

    Right? I mean, right? You can even go here and calculate the fucking possibility, holy sheepshit!

    Probability. One can calculate probabilities. There is no such metric for possibilities, and how they are determined is completely different. This may be what you are confused about and why you come off as a dogmatic crank.

    I couldn’t believe the timing I have. But, I’m playing devil’s advocate. I can’t, realistically, claim absolute knowledge of what’s possible in situations I can know nothing about.
    You are right, but only theoretically ;)

    Ah, I see. So you’re playing a game in which you can dishonestly make invalid arguments. You and scifi seem to have much more in common than you either of you realize.

  232. A. R says

    Can we please get another troll? This specimen is getting too repetitive and stupid.

    Scifi: We have repeated this to you more times than I care to count: Show us the positive evidence for a deity. Otherwise, the door is over there, {Points to airlock with giant blast doors leading to the Pharyngula entrance hall} it’s a left and two rights to get to the main exit. If you pass the door to TET, you’ve taken a wrong turn.

  233. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    The willingness to look at new evidence (not a philosophical argument) makes me an agnostic.

    Unfortunately, there seem to be a shitload of people who think that the last new evidence needed is 2,000 or so years old.

    So you’re playing a game in which you can dishonestly make invalid arguments.

    I wonder when we get down to, “I was just asking a question”?

  234. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    And my second borkquote of hte day.

    Haven’t paid homage to Tpyos yet, so I’m not doing too bad.

  235. Amphiox says

    If one wants proof scifi’s lying one need only look at scifi’s post #296. Note how Aratina Cage uses the phrase “even more improbable” and scifi tries to dishonestly twist that to mean “impossible”. It is EXPLICIT in the word “improbable” that the possibility is very small but NOT ZERO.

    Just look at #296. No additional comment is needed. The blatant dishonesty is self-evident.

    Scifi the liar is caught in yet another bald faced lie.

    Rests its case, does it? It needs to get itself a better lawyer. One that will advise him to plead out.

  236. consciousness razor says

    I wonder when we get down to, “I was just asking a question”?

    That will come during a long series of incoherent screeds about how we’re being dreadfully unfair, how we don’t know what mikmik’s really like, and how mikmik’s comments aren’t supposed to communicate what mikmik’s like, and how we’re really stupid for making such a boneheaded assumption.

    If I’m not mistaken, mikmik has in the past argued for qualia (maybe in a free will thread many moons ago), so it would be a fun exercise* to see how one is supposed to know whether or not they are possible, how to estimate the probability of their actual existence, and what they’re supposed to be if not supernatural gibberish.

    *I have my own personal, ineffable definition of “fun.”

  237. Amphiox says

    Evidence is another term for Relevance. The act of leaving evidence behind means having a meaningful effect on reality, having consequence. In practical terms only things that have evidence are worth spending valuable and limited time and effort thinking about. Things with no evidence have no relevance and considering them is a waste of resources. That is why science does not bother with things unless there is either evidence for them or there is sufficiently high a priori probability of finding evidence that the search for that evidence is worthwhile.

    That is why, decades ago, astronomers were skeptical of searching for exoplanets. It was not that the probability of their existence was not acknowledged, but that the probability of finding that evidence was judged too low to be worth the expenditure of resources, given the capabilities of the time. When detection methods became more powerful, then and only then did astronomers become interested.

    So of scifi wants to honestly bolster its creator arguments, what it needs to do is describe how it would be possible to feasibly and economically go searching for evidence for that creator.

    The bar is really quite low – it doesn’t even need to show actual real evidence, only the possibility that evidence can be practically obtained.

    But of course scifi won’t do that, as it has been obvious for a long time that it has no interest in honesty.

  238. mikmik says

    Proving Atheism

    Is God Impossible, or Kind of Impossible?

    Here’s the problem. Especially since the developments in math, geometry, logic, and epistemology in the 19th and 20th century, proof in the old, strong a priori sense of the word just isn’t what it used to be. There’s a huge amount of detailed back story here, but the issue with a priori justification comes down to this. It looks like there are no indefeasible, non-revisable grounds of truth upon which to base proving. It looks the best way for us to proceed is to acknowledge that even for the kinds of reasoning and rules of inference that we thought were most removed from any sort of empirical consideration or revision are defeasible and empirical. Logic itself, deductive reasoning, and conceptual analysis should be subject to revision depending on the state of our empirical observations, our broad theories about what is real, and the vast web of other propositions that we think describe the world. Humans are engaged in a large model making enterprise where they seek to get the ideas they have to line up as closely as possible to the observations they make, their predictions, and their needs. They should also be trying to construct this flotilla of world ideas so that it achieves the highest level of logical and probabilistic coherence possible, and it should have the highest degree of integration and fewest anomalies possible. We have learned from history that our description of what’s real in the world works best—makes the best predictions, explains the most data—when we more and better observations and we make it conform to those observations. As we improve the integrated justification between the claims in the system to reduce anomalies, and as we move towards a more and more comprehensive system, it is able to give us better descriptions of the world we are observing.

    In that context then, what would it mean to give a priori disproof of God’s existence? We should take those disproofs as adding serious questions to the overall viability of the God hypothesis as an accurate description of ultimate reality. Let’s treat the God hypothesis as one story among many that attempts to describe what is real. And we should accept it, just like we should for any other account, to the extent that it fits with the rest of what we think we know about the world. It should not only fit with, but give us clear, robust predictions about the behavior and nature of objects in the physical world. It should not have implications that conflict directly with what we can observe to be true. At some point, if the God hypothesis is being presented as a description of reality, then there should be some sort of empirical implications. It should make a difference somehow in the way things are. That is, there must be some distinguishable way in which we would be able to tell the difference between the hypothesis being false and its being true. These real manifestations can be indirect and far removed from God himself—our observations of muons and gamma radiation are far from direct—but if we are going to take the hypothesis seriously as a description of real things (and that includes numerous claims about what is not real) then it’s got to make some real difference or other.

    So, scifi, what fucking difference does it make if god is possible, but there’s no way to tell? Why are you so all ass-constrictingly uptight about in the first place?

  239. says

    nigel enters TZT, eyes furrowed and wary. Somewhere in the distance is the vague and unintelligible bellowing of a troll, like a child’s first trumpet lesson playing the tune “The Conflation of Impossible and Improbable” by S. Fi.

    Sometimes I wish schools taught some minimal amount of philosophy. Epistemology would be a good start, sez I.

    We have the tools to help us think more clearly. My scrotum itches when people refuse to use them.

  240. scifi says

    Consciousness razor,
    “First, it’s clear that you haven’t the slightest fucking clue what agnosticism is. One can be an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist. One can also be a gnostic atheist or a gnostic theist. Agnosticism is not an alternative position somewhere in the middle of the two; it’s orthogonal to both.”

    I hope you are kidding, or you are talking about yourself. Here’s the definition of agnostic:
    ag·nos·tic
       [ag-nos-tik] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable

    It states that an agnostic is a person who believes that the existence of a God is unknowable PERIOD. It does not state that there are exceptions like agnostic atheist or agnostic theist. Where the Hell did you get that idea? Get your facts straight before you go accusing someone of not having a clue. You just made a complete ass out of yourself.

  241. says

    scifi:

    It states that an agnostic is a person who believes that the existence of a God is unknowable PERIOD. It does not state that there are exceptions like agnostic atheist or agnostic theist.

    Agnosticism is an epistemological claim. Theism and atheism are metaphysical claims. One is a claim about what is knowable. The other is a claim about what is. They are effectively orthogonal.

    I have yet to meet a person who personally believes a god neither exists nor doesn’t exist. Pretty much everyone has a belief about it, just as I believe (but have no proof) that magical fire-breathing dragons do not exist.

    Get your facts straight before you go accusing someone of not having a clue. You just made a complete ass out of yourself.

    Ow! I guess you just showed consciousness razor!

  242. scifi says

    mikmik,
    “So, scifi, what fucking difference does it make if god is possible, but there’s no way to tell? Why are you so all ass-constrictingly uptight about in the first place?”

    My main point is that unless someone has evidence one way or the other, i.e. evidence there is a creator or evidence that our universe came about some way by chance, they should be honest with themselves and not label themselves as atheist, but admit they do not know and label themselves as an agnostic. To do otherwise is dishonest.

  243. says

    scifi:

    My main point is that unless someone has evidence one way or the other, i.e. evidence there is a creator or evidence that our universe came about some way by chance, they should be honest with themselves and not label themselves as atheist, but admit they do not know and label themselves as an agnostic. To do otherwise is dishonest.

    So, scifi, you believe a god simultaneously exists and does not exist?

  244. A. R says

    So, scifi, you believe a god simultaneously exists and does not exist?

    Yep. Schrodinger’s God.

  245. scifi says

    nigelthebold,
    “I have yet to meet a person who personally believes a god neither exists nor doesn’t exist.”

    In that case, I’ve been fooled cause there are a number of people on this board that come across as ‘fire breathing’ atheists.

    “Ow! I guess you just showed consciousness razor!”

    Sorry about that, but he had it coming when he falsely accused me of not having a clue when it came to the definition of agnostic and then preceded to show that he was full of shit.

  246. says

    scifi:

    In that case, I’ve been fooled cause there are a number of people on this board that come across as ‘fire breathing’ atheists.

    Are you familiar with the null hypothesis? It’s an important concept if you wish to understand why many agnostics are atheists.

    Do you think that everything that is unknowable has equal probability of being true or being untrue? For example, do you think Russell’s Teapot has a 50% chance of existing?

  247. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Absolute Knowledge™ leads to mental paralysis. Nothing can be absolutely proven or disproven. No decision can be made. Life can’t be lived without making decisions. Which is why rational people ignore Absolute Knowledge™, and just make do with Good Enough Knowledge™, like the gnu atheists do with imaginary deities/creators, using the null hypothesis and parsimony. Keep those imaginary things imaginary without evidence, but be open to new evidence. Atheists by conclusion, agnostic due to open minds.

    Why is that concept so hard Scifi? Why are you an Absolutist™? Maybe because you are a theist and can’t stand folks saying your deity is imaginary? That really seems to get your emotions and illogical thinking running.

  248. says

    My main point is that unless someone has evidence one way or the other, i.e. evidence there is a creator or evidence that our universe came about some way by chance, they should be honest with themselves and not label themselves as atheist, but admit they do not know and label themselves as an agnostic. –sc*f*@#

    But we know of too many hurdles that a thing like a creator deity would have to clear–the biggest, most elementary one for the basest/barest kind of god, in my opinion, being how it could have a mind without a physical brain. That defies everything we know about how minds work.

    Since a god of any intelligent sort existing seems unreasonable to me no matter how I look at it, I accurately call myself an atheist.

    To do otherwise is dishonest. –sc*f*@#

    No. It would actually be dishonest of me to pretend like I didn’t have enough knowledge about reality to rule out gods as being real. Since I have enough knowledge to rule them out, I do. Additionally, I say that being an agnostic in the sense of not having enough information to get off the fence is either dishonest or ignorant (either willingly or unwillingly) barring some sort of bodily complication that won’t allow one to increase their understanding of reality.

  249. says

    Did scifi completely misunderstand nigel’s “I have yet to meet a person who personally believes a god neither exists nor doesn’t exist” comment? Unless I need to eat my brain spinach the reply was a complete non-sequitur.

  250. says

    Also, I’d like to point out that agnosticism should result in hard atheism. According to the definition you presented, agnosticism is the position that there is no way to have knowledge of a god. This is the definition I use, as well, so we are in accord there.

    But consider the implications of that statement. There is no way to know if a god exists or not. This means evidence for a god simply does not exist. It cannot exist. Otherwise, we’d have a basis for knowledge, and agnosticism would not be viable.

    This means that there is no evidence that can sway me from the null hypothesis, that gods do not exist. That evidence just doesn’t exist, according to agnosticism. Ergo, the non-existence of gods is not only the default position, it’s the only possible position.

    I propose there’s a flaw in the definition of agnosticism you gave. I propose agnosticism is merely the admission that we have no evidence for a god at the present. This leaves open the possibility there may be evidence in the future. This is generally what people mean when they use the term “agnostic.”

    I can’t imagine what the evidence for a god would look like, honestly, so I can’t predict whether or not I would be swayed. However, since the probability of the existence of a god is so small, I’m not going to lay awake at night worrying about it.

  251. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Imaginary things have no basis in reality. There is no evidence to point at to say they exist. Why do you think, Scifi, so many peoople keep asking you for evidence for your imaginary creator? It’s to make you see that without said evidence, the question of “why should a creator even be considered” needs to be answered by you honestly. And you keep ignoring that. How is your claim of your imaginary creator different from a delusion in your mind?

  252. says

    myeck waters:

    Did scifi completely misunderstand nigel’s “I have yet to meet a person who personally believes a god neither exists nor doesn’t exist” comment?

    To be fair, I phrased that very awkwardly. It sounded good in my head at the time, but it’s pretty obtuse. Logically sound, but it’s the kind of logic that gets you into trouble when programming.

  253. consciousness razor says

    Consciousness razor,

    So you finally respond to me again. I was beginning to wonder if you had developed a blindspot wherever my pseudonym appeared. Since that isn’t the case, please reply to some of my previous comments. Or just respond to anyone, really, with anything of substance.

    1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable

    That’s a strong position, which sometimes I’ve heard called “militant agnosticism.” Unknown of course doesn’t mean unknowable; but like I said, I think it depends on the god (or set of gods) in question. That I don’t believe in any gods doesn’t mean I’m committed to claiming that I know, with absolute metaphysical certainty, that no such god actually exists (or could exist).

    All of our knowledge is uncertain, yet we’re stuck believing lots of thing, based on what we have. The problem is that we either have to dispense with “knowledge” as altogether impossible (because we’ve presupposed it requires us to be omniscient) or we need to have reasonable grounds for justifying when we do and do not have it, provided that it’s understood that in every case knowledge is provisional and uncertain. “God” is no exception, but you make it sound as if uncertainty is a special problem in this one case where you need to stress the mere possibility, as if that somehow saves it from rational scrutiny. That’s because your epistemology is shitty. Are you arguing this way for every other belief you have? Are you a radical skeptic? Do you really Know™ I exist, other than in your own mind? Isn’t that possible? If it’s sophistry you want, two can play at that game, but to be honest I’d rather not.

    And if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have already noticed that I’m also agnostic to whether or not there is a “first cause” of any kind; since it may be there never was a beginning. It may also be that even if there were a beginning, assumptions one might have about what “causes” are, as well as whether something needs to be “caused,” are wrong. Do you think those are impossible, and how do you think that affects your argument for a god?

    Sorry about that, but he had it coming when he falsely accused me of not having a clue when it came to the definition of agnostic and then preceded to show that he was full of shit.

    According to which dictionary am I full of shit? Secondly, can you lay out some kind of distinction between epistemology and ontology, as Nigel did? I don’t care which terms you invent for it.

    Or if you don’t care to do that, we could get back to the part where you have no evidence for a god, which is why it’s unreasonable for you to believe in one.

  254. says

    there are a number of people on this board that come across as ‘fire breathing’ atheists.

    Untrue. Why I’m a veritable milquetoast. I do not and cannot breathe fire. I leave that up to the invisible dragon in my garage.

  255. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    My main point is that unless someone has evidence one way or the other, i.e. evidence there is a creator or evidence that our universe came about some way by chance, they should be honest with themselves and not label themselves as atheist, but admit they do not know and label themselves as an agnostic.

    I know that I have, repeatedly, asked you to provide some sort of experiment, some sort of method of observation, which could actually show some evidence of the existence of gods. You have refused multiple times via your silence (yeah, I know we are communicating in a non-sound environment) to suggest any possible way to measure for evidence of these gods you insist are not only possible but necessary. Are you going to fulfill this request? or continue your ongoing cranio-rectal inversion?

    Did scifi completely misunderstand nigel’s “I have yet to meet a person who personally believes a god neither exists nor doesn’t exist” comment?

    Misunderstanding is one of the few tools in scifi’s tool box. Another is ignoring some comments. Ignorance and misunderstanding = scifi.

    there are a number of people on this board that come across as ‘fire breathing’ atheists.

    Only after a double garlic, anchovy and gorgonzola pizza.

  256. says

    ‘fire breathing’ atheists.

    I saw a male stripper once. He had brown skin, little plastic red horns on his head, a very large schlong (the sort of penis that makes you want to call it a schlong) and he breathed fire. It was quite the show.

    I bet he was an atheist too, the degenerate!

  257. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    And I fucking borkquoted again! Damn, I’m stupid.

  258. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Brother Ogvorbis, at least you are able to blockquote. Syfy it too busy showing that the universe was fine tuned to bother.

  259. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Scifi, with your Absolutist™ definition of agnostic, all believers would also be agnostics, since they couldn’t be absolutely certain their deity doesn’t exist. Is this correct? Essentially all believers and non-believers are agnostics?

  260. scifi says

    Nerd of a redhead,
    “Why is that concept so hard Scifi? Why are you an Absolutist”

    Why do you consider me an absolutist? I thought I made it clear that I don’t know whether or not there is a creator. What I did say is that I lean towards a creator, but that doesn’t make me an absolutist. On the other hand, you come across as one when you keep referring to a creator as nothing more than imagination.

    Let me clarify something. I do agree that it is best to first look for a natural answer. My question is this. At what point do you throw in the towel and admit to yourself that a creator might just be the answer and should be pursued as a possible answer, when you cannot find evidence of a natural answer?

  261. Snoof says

    At what point do you throw in the towel and admit to yourself that a creator might just be the answer and should be pursued as a possible answer, when you cannot find evidence of a natural answer?

    As soon as all the more parsimonious hypotheses have been falsified. Haven’t you been paying attention?

    In addition: Why do you assume a not-natural creator? This universe could be a simulation created by an entity in another universe, and this entity would be both natural and a creator.

    What does not-natural even mean, anyway?

  262. scifi says

    Nerd of a redhead,
    “Scifi, with your Absolutist™ definition of agnostic, all believers would also be agnostics, since they couldn’t be absolutely certain their deity doesn’t exist. Is this correct? Essentially all believers and non-believers are agnostics?”

    BINGO! BTW, it isn’t absolutist. It is the definition of agnostic. Even if you go to a philosophy dictionary, the definition of an agnostic is still the same. It is as follows:
    Definition of AGNOSTIC

    a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

    And definition for an Atheist is
    Definition of ATHEIST
    one who believes that there is no deity

    That is what dictionaries are for. Otherwise, anyone can just simply make the definition whatever they want it to be. The definitions are from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

    And yes, if anyone here admits they don’t know whether or not a creator exists, then they are agnostic. However, on the other hand, if they feel that a creator is fiction, then, by the definition, they are atheists.

  263. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I thought I made it clear that I don’t know whether or not there is a creator.

    Then the null hypothesis you must use is non-existence.

    On the other hand, you come across as one when you keep referring to a creator as nothing more than imagination.

    Right. Based on the null hypthesis and parsismony. Which you haven’t challenged effectively, if at all. All you have is presupposition, no evidence to make the null hypothesis change.

    On the other hand, you come across as one when you keep referring to a creator as nothing more than imagination.

    There is a natural answer without your imaginary creator. Science. It satisfies me. Now, show me where the science is wrong, and your imaginary creator actually exists. PUT UP OR SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  264. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A hundred e-ducats Scifi will continue his failed fuckwittery, repeating himself ad nauseum, until PZ pulls the plug. Scifi, you either have the evidence or you don’t. If you do, present it. If you don’t, shut the fuck up. Welcome to science, where you must prove your inane allegations of your imaginary creator, or it doesn’t exist. You admit you can’t. Now, why can’t you shut the fuck up???

  265. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

    Then I’m not an agnostic by that definition, god is bullshit, imaginary, and doesn’t exist, as there is no evidence for it. But I go by the definition of agnostic that an agnostic is still searching for information, whereas your definition defines a conclusion; that is called presupposition, as I have accused of many times. Which means it is wrong.

    one who believes that there is no deity

    Right, I am an atheist. I define god as imaginary nonsense, which makes your definition of agnostism imaginary nonsense, which it is.

  266. Snoof says

    And yes, if anyone here admits they don’t know whether or not a creator exists, then they are agnostic. However, on the other hand, if they feel that a creator is fiction, then, by the definition, they are atheists.

    Those two definitions aren’t mutually exclusive.

    One can recognise that thanks to the limits of human knowledge, they can’t be totally certain of the non-existence of something, while still believing that on the whole, it’s more likely that thing doesn’t exist.

    I mean, I’m not a hundred percent certain there’s no Santa Claus, but it doesn’t mean I’m expecting a bag of presents next December.

  267. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Fuller definition of agnostic from the on-line encyclopedia, as we all know Scifi has an agenda.

    Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown or unknowable.[1][2] Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the difference between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief. In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who is undecided about the existence of a deity or deities, whereas a theist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively.[2] In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify the belief that deities either do or do not exist. Within agnosticism there are agnostic atheists (who do not believe any deity exists, but do not deny it as a possibility) and agnostic theists (who believe a deity exists but do not claim it as personal knowledge).

    Note it does include the definition that most of us here use. So Scifi, quit hiding behind falsified definitions. You are still a liar and bullshitter, evidenceless and presuppositional.

  268. Amphiox says

    scifi suffers from the disease of binary thinking.

    Sadly, its case is most probably terminal.

  269. A. R says

    Fellow TZT Politburo members: Мы должны разработать план, чтобы иметь дело с scifi, она становится очень скучным и повторяющимся. Возможно, мы должны заманить fundementalist тролля в TZT по борьбе с scifi?

  270. chigau (副) says

    Nous devrions utiliser le canon LOLcat.
    Répondre seulement avec LOLcats.

  271. scifi says

    Nerd of redhead,
    “A hundred e-ducats Nerd of redhead will continue his failed fuckwittery, repeating himself ad nauseum, until God pulls the plug. Nerd of Redhead, you either have the evidence or you don’t. If you do, present it. If you don’t, shut the fuck up.

  272. scifi says

    Nerd of Redhead,
    “Note it does include the definition that most of us here use. So Scifi, quit hiding behind falsified definitions. You are still a liar and bullshitter, evidenceless and presuppositional.”

    Nerd, don’t you ever tire twisting things about. Admit it. You are wrong as usual.

  273. chigau (副) says

    scifi
    Do you NOT use <blockquote> because you are making some kind of

    statement

    or are you just a dumbfuck?

  274. colinj says

    Scifi, #345:

    Let me clarify something. I do agree that it is best to first look for a natural answer. My question is this. At what point do you throw in the towel and admit to yourself that a creator might just be the answer and should be pursued as a possible answer, when you cannot find evidence of a natural answer?

    Why throw in the towel at all? When looking at the big questions, like “Where did the universe come from?”*, you basically have 2 options:

    1) I don’t know. Let’s find out.
    2) It was created by a creator. The creator is unknowable apart from the fact that it created. It’s essence is creation. There’s your answer, close the book.

    That question’s been around for a long, long time and those have always been the options. We know a hell of a lot more about the origins of the universe now than we did, say 2,000 years ago. And trust me, we didn’t get any of that knowledge from people who chose option 2.

    ——
    *Of course these same options can be applied to the other big issues such as:
    – How did life begin?
    – What is the essence of my being? Will it live on after the death of my body?
    – The colour green, how the fuck does that work????

  275. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    scifi:

    Definition of AGNOSTIC

    a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable;

    ====

    broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

    I broke those two apart for you. The first Agnostic, with a capital A, is a person who holds a view. The second agnostic, with a little a, is a person who holds no view.

    See, back in the day there were Gnostics, who believed that God was their little buddy, in whose image they were made and who they gnew personally. Then there were the Agnostics, who believed God was oooh so big, yes, unimaginably huge and incomprehensible and ungnowable. Both of those are religious beliefs–or positions, or statements of faith–something one can hold, or even disagree with.

    The people who are agnostic, on the other hand, pretty much have nothing. They don’t know, care or give a shit–the apathetic bastards. There isn’t anything to their position, and you really can’t disagree with them–if a guy says he doesn’t know whether or not there is a god, you can’t tell him he’s wrong, and that he does indeed know (well, you can, but it’s getting weirdly meta).

    So, Agnosticism is a religion, agnostics aren’t religious.

    And definition for an Atheist is
    Definition of ATHEIST
    one who believes that there is no deity

    No, no, no, no.

    An atheist has no belief.

    Religious people believe that god exists, they worship, they go to church, they take communion.

    An atheist sleeps late on Sunday morning.

    Really, that’s all there is to it–an atheist doesn’t do religion. Atheism isn’t something one does–there are no books, or dances, or cannibalistic feasts–atheism is inaction, or a failure to participate. It is a profound lack of belief—quiet skepticism, if you will.

    (You are probably, as you read this, not shagging a sheep—you are asheepist. I am not believing in a god—I am atheist.)

    I, as an atheist, do not hold it as an article of faith that there is no god—I wasn’t persuaded by some fat-assed fast-talker who wanted my money. I just quit going to church.

    A lot of folks who base their lives on belief instead of logic cannot grasp that other people think in different ways. They have faith that atheists have faith, but they are wrong—most atheists are skeptics, they don’t take things on faith.

    Anyhow, I quite absolutely do not give a shit about all the babble about creator gods. I have no stand on the issue. “By my heel, I care not.” Since I don’t believe anything about a creator god, I am atheist. Since I don’t know anything about the subject, I am agnostic.

    That is what dictionaries are for. Otherwise, anyone can just simply make the definition whatever they want it to be. The definitions are from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

    Well, you’d better read all the definition, and maybe check a few other dictionaries.

    And here’s a hint: You might listen to the folks who are being defined, and try harder to understand what they are saying.

    That’s what the good dictionary people do.

  276. colinj says

    Scifi, a question for you. How can the creator be “pursued as a possible answer” when, according to your own definition of agnostic (#324), you believe that the creator is not only unknown, it is UNKNOWABLE. If it is not possible to know anything about the creator, how does accepting it as a possibility do anything other than close down further investigation? It really does mean throwing in the towel, doesn’t it?

    God isn’t the answer to any question. Or rather, it is the answer to all questions, in the exactly the same way as “Shut up and eat your vegetables.”

  277. Amphiox says

    So, scifi cherry-picks a dictionary definition, deliberately ignores all the other dictionary definitions of the same word that completely refute its point, and thinks it has made an argument of some kind?

    And it has the nerve to try claiming that it is not being dishonest.

    I mean, being caught red-handed quote-mining A DICTIONARY is just about the most pathetic thing I have ever seen, as far as vapid troll behavior goes.

  278. theophontes 777 says

    @ Brogg

    blockquotes

    Try using Text Formatting Toolbar, if you are using Firefox. It really is a great help in putting comments together.

    You could also try a WYSIWYG html composer, like Seamonkey. It is a browser and composer rolled into one, and very light.

    @ Nerd

    Essentially all believers and non-believers are agnostics?

    Yes. (It is worth pointing this out to goddists.)

    until PZ pulls the plug

    Un/fortunately this is an experimental thread. Teh fuckwittery is not likely to incur the banhammer here, as here is the last resort of the fuckwitted. To get banhammered here would take, hell I don’t even know really, a lot of gushing stoopid. I have no doubt that scifi can rise to the challenge.

    The idea was that TZT could form a dumping ground for trolls, menZ and godbots. This would keep the other threads on topic, while leaving trollhunters a place to keep fangs sniny. We were also keen to see if such denizens would fight each other in a kind of cagematch. Sadly teh stoopid works in unison, so we have had no luck to date. :'(

    @ AR/chigau

    I guess it is up to us to find a solution for the scifi’s of this world. We could try the LOLcat bombardment … or simply ignore any repetitions of tired and disproved fuckwitteries from it.

    @ scifi

    Nerd, don’t you ever tire twisting things about. Admit it. You are wrong as usual.

    Pssst! Your idiocy is showing again. *Eeeuw*

  279. John Morales says

    Such stupidity from scifi!

    I can’t rule out that a meteorite will strike me dead a week from today, but I believe (with damn good reason) that I shall not be struck dead by a meteorite a week from today.

    IOW: I am agnostic about it, yet I don’t believe it will happen.

  280. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The creator is unknowable apart from the fact that it created. It’s essence is creation. There’s your answer, close the book.

    Close the book on a stupid, irrational, and falacious evidencenceless argument. It is reject. POOF.

    I mean, being caught red-handed quote-mining A DICTIONARY is just about the most pathetic thing I have ever seen, as far as vapid troll behavior goes.

    QFT

  281. mikmik says

    consciousness razor
    3 May 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I wonder when we get down to, “I was just asking a question”?

    That will come during a long series of incoherent screeds about how we’re being dreadfully unfair, how we don’t know what mikmik’s really like, and how mikmik’s comments aren’t supposed to communicate what mikmik’s like, and how we’re really stupid for making such a boneheaded assumption.

    If I’m not mistaken, mikmik has in the past argued for qualia (maybe in a free will thread many moons ago), so it would be a fun exercise* to see how one is supposed to know whether or not they are possible, how to estimate the probability of their actual existence, and what they’re supposed to be if not supernatural gibberish.

    *I have my own personal, ineffable definition of “fun.”

    If you don’t know what mikmiks like, then you would seem to have a problem. I’ll take your word for it, but if you are referring to my opinion on the likelihood of a sentient creature or force intentionally causing our universe, which really means time, space, energy, and how it behaves, then there is no possibility that that happened.
    You can easily read why I think that. I think you may be having difficulty with the idea that any perceptions, ideas, or imaginings we have about the characteristics of such things are meaningless, and not possible, even in principle, because unless time, space, and some sort of stable existence is manifest prior to this universe, which was the start of all that, then it pretty much nullifies any idea based on creatures that exist in stably exist in time and space and form the intent to create. If your conception of god possesses anything like these characteristics, or any projected characteristics modeled on your experience and knowledge of this reality, then you are wrong, because our ideas are only applicable into space, time, and creatures having intent.
    No god is possible based on our qualia*, by which I mean a mental picture or idea for they only have meaning in our reality.

    If your idea of fun is intently focusing on finding fault and gaining amusement and satisfaction at the personal expense of others, then you are a sadist and you need help, and probably a new keyboard now and then.

    *This application of the word qualia is controversial as I apply it to the ‘sense’ of having an idea or mental picture, separate from the experience of perceiving and feeling external stimuli.

    I don’t know, c.razor, it strikes me as very lame, this having a need or desire to pigeonhole and label people and events into neatly predictable and simplistic artificial slots and categories. Appreciation of subtly and imagination are lost for the sake of convenience, wouldn’t you agree?

  282. consciousness razor says

    If you don’t know what mikmiks like, then you would seem to have a problem. I’ll take your word for it, but if you are referring to my opinion on the likelihood of a sentient creature or force intentionally causing our universe, which really means time, space, energy, and how it behaves, then there is no possibility that that happened. [my emphasis]

    Still confusing probability and possibility. Also, probabilities are calculated, and neither is opined. Not a good sign.

    You can easily read why I think that.

    I can read it. Trying to translate it from incoherent rambling to plain English is more difficult. I’m sure that’s entirely my fault.

    I think you may be having difficulty with the idea that any perceptions, ideas, or imaginings we have about the characteristics of such things are meaningless, and not possible, even in principle, because unless time, space, and some sort of stable existence is manifest prior to this universe, which was the start of all that, then it pretty much nullifies any idea based on creatures that exist in stably exist in time and space and form the intent to create. If your conception of god possesses anything like these characteristics, or any projected characteristics modeled on your experience and knowledge of this reality, then you are wrong, because our ideas are only applicable into space, time, and creatures having intent. [my emphasis]

    I think you’re saying it’s impossible that there’s a god with intentions, if it doesn’t exist in a certain kind of framework which allows them. Couldn’t it exist in this universe prior to the big bang? Alternatively, couldn’t it exist in a multiverse or a similar meta-spacetime, where there could be some way for it to act and have intentions? Or do you insist that in that case, it can’t be a “god” by definition? If so, what’s the point of making the categorical claim and staking it on something as flimsy as your half-baked opinion about what a “god” ought to be? Whatever your reasons for narrowing it down (if you have any), you’ve said nothing about the others which don’t fall under your definition.

    Anyway, none of this is necessary to justify atheism. If you can’t do it, don’t. There’s really no point to it, except maybe to test whether we’ll accept sophistry when it looks like it’s for “our side” of the argument.

  283. mikmik says

    What’s your definition of god, consciousness razor?
    As far as confusing probability with possibility, then fine, nothing is impossible. It is possible that the laws of physics will change, or that the gravitation potential will overcome it’s local threshold and settle back down to zero(or whatever the theory is, I have to go in 2 minutes and don’t have time.)

    As far as being 100% certain, the limiting value of the sum of infinitely regressing probabilities of there being a god that interacts with our space-time is zero, so yes, it is not zero at any one specific point, but it is zero overall.

    Alternatively, couldn’t it exist in a multiverse or a similar meta-spacetime, where there could be some way for it to act and have intentions?

    The same odds as you and me being the ones that did it, the same odds that you and me were sitting around and agreed that we should fuck with the resultant life forms if we created a universe that might develop self aware life forms.

    I don’t think you understand what it means to say that there is nothing for our conceptions to exist in, or at, or whatever, if it were possible, because there is no such place, and if we’re part of a larger multi-verse, we are still stuck with the problem of first cause, but it is safe to say that nothing from another universe can interact with substrate outside of itself because there are no laws of nature to facilitate it.

    This is what I am trying to say, that this multiverse idea is a projection of our understanding of 3 dimensional space-time, the way you use it, so no, there is no chance an object exists in interuniversal substrate because we would be able to detect it.

    Fuck, gotta go. This could get interesting, consciousness, good work.

  284. says

    scifi, I asked a question earlier, one which you seem to have missed. It cuts to the heart of your confusion concerning compatibility of agnosticism and atheism.

    scifi, if the existence of something is unknown and unknowable, are the probabilities equal for existence and non-existence? Is it a 50/50 deal? Does Russell’s Teapot have a 50% chance of existing? How about Santa Claus, as Snoof suggested? Is there a 50% chance that wish-fullfilling genies exist?

    I’m greatly interested in your response to this.

  285. scifi says

    Consciousness razor,
    “That I don’t believe in any gods doesn’t mean I’m committed to claiming that I know, with absolute metaphysical certainty, that no such god actually exists (or could exist).”

    Then why the heck don’t you label yourself an agnostic, one who admits they don’t know, with atheist leanings? I have a friend who leans towards the belief there is no god, but he admits he can’t be absolutely sure, so he labels himself an agnostic with atheist leanings. I label myself an agnostic with theist leanings, though I admit that Krauss has pulled me back a notch with some pretty good arguments, though even he admits that he he isn’t absolutely sure.

    I got my definition for agnostic from Merriam-Webster dictionary
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic

  286. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Then why the heck don’t you label yourself an agnostic, one who admits they don’t know, with atheist leanings? I have a friend who leans towards the belief there is no god, but he admits he can’t be absolutely sure, so he labels himself an agnostic with atheist leanings. I label myself an agnostic with theist leanings, though I admit that Krauss has pulled me back a notch with some pretty good arguments, though even he admits that he he isn’t absolutely sure.

    For the same reason I’m not agnostic on the existence of Fairies, Unicorns and Morlocks.

    But if tomorrow Morlocks riding Unicorns started swarming out of the sewers I’m not going to deny their existence.

  287. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    God-fucking-dammit, Scifi!

    An agnostic is:

    2 : a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something

    That’s your own fucking definition.

    We are trying to tell you:

    A theist is someone who has committed to an opinion that there is a god.

    An atheist is someone who has not committed to an opinion that there is a god.

    A person who is not jumping up and down shouting “Hallelujah! Praise the fuckin’ Lawd!” is both atheist and agnostic. He has no faith, AND he doesn’t know.

    Unless, and here is a point, he is so bloody tired of gits like you that he just decides that all believers are frakking idiots, and there cannot possibly be a god, any-fucking-where. Then he knows there is no god, and is no longer agnostic–because he gnows it, now. Thanks to you.

    And he is still atheist, because he doesn’t go to church, but now you can call him an Atheist with a capital A.

    Thanks to you.

  288. Snoof says

    I got my definition for agnostic from Merriam-Webster dictionary

    You apparently didn’t read it for comprehension. Here it is again:

    “a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable

    Did you get that? Agnosticism is about knowledge. Atheism, on the other hand, is about belief. They’re two different axes.

    Maybe this diagram will help.

    People can be in any of those four quadrants. Someone who believes God has spoken to them directly is a gnostic theist, they believe in God and have certain knowledge of God’s existence. Lots of people are agnostic theists, they’re not certain of God’s existence but believe in it anyway. I am an agnostic atheist with regards to most gods – I don’t have certain knowledge and I don’t believe. I am a gnostic atheist with regards to Yahweh, since Yahweh can’t possibly exist as described.

    Agnosticism is not, except in common usage, a wishy-washy middle ground between theism and atheism. It’s a distinct statement, orthogonal to theism/atheism, and even the definition you cite confirms that.

  289. scifi says

    Colinj,
    “Why throw in the towel at all?”

    OK, you have a point. Let me rephrase the question. At what point do you at least admit to yourself that a creator may be the answer?

    There are a number of things that make me wonder about things like continuation of life after death. There are arguments of false memories or etc, etc. However, I recently had a dear friend who had them screw up a procedure in the hospital where they, unknowingly caused he heart to bleed. Her heart ended up stopping for 6 minutes. She was told that if it had gone for over 9, she would have been gone. I purposely asked her if she remembered anything without mentioning life after death experiences. She said she felt like she was falling through darkness and decided that she must be dying, but then she saw a number of people with halos above their head. This is a woman who isn’t religious, in fact, I believe atheist. She never heard of the people who have had these experiences going through a dark tunnel. Yeah, I’ve heard that there have been experiments through drugs and use of magnets, but they never seem to match these experiences of people whose hearts stop. Naturalists naturally want to look for the natural answer, but at what point do you realize that none of the experiments, including astronauts in the centrifuge matches these experiences and admit that there may be something beyond the natural explanation?

  290. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Then why the heck don’t you label yourself an agnostic, one who admits they don’t know,

    One doesn’t need Absolute Knowqledge™ to call themselves atheists, not agnostics, and tell folks their deity is imaginary. They only need Good Enough Knowledge™, which is what we have at the moment. There is no clear and conclusive physial evidence for a deity. Ergo, the null hypothesis is used to get around the logical problem of needing Absolute KNowledge™. With Good Enough Knowledge™, the null hypothesis is non-existence, which puts the burden of evidence where it belongs. On those who claim a deity/creator exists. Agnosticism in this case also means an open mind if evidence appears in the future. Why can’t you accept that? Why must our knowledge be absolute to call deities imaginary if there is no evidence for them?

    Oh, and your definition of agnostic essentially presupposes the existence of a deity. It is rejected for that reason. We presuppose no deities, which is why you lost this argument before you started it.

  291. says

    scifi:

    At what point do you at least admit to yourself that a creator may be the answer?

    At the point where there are absolutely no natural alternatives.

    As I and others have said, there is no way to know you aren’t a brain in a vat, or part of a vast universal simulator, or some other life form dreaming you’re human. There’s no way to know any of that for certain.

    Yet these are not the default positions. I suspect you don’t believe you’re a brain in a vat, but I don’t see you rushing to call all non-vat believers “agnostics” simply because there’s no way to know. The brain-in-a-vat is viable if and only if it is the last possible option that explains everything perfectly, that accurately predicts things currently unknown, and provides a reasonable model for the continued search for knowledge.

    Do you think the chances are 50/50 that you are a brain in a vat? Do you proceed with your life as if you may or may not be a computer simulation, with equal probability?

  292. Snoof says

    Naturalists naturally want to look for the natural answer, but at what point do you realize that none of the experiments, including astronauts in the centrifuge matches these experiences and admit that there may be something beyond the natural explanation?

    We’ve been over this. As soon as all the more parsimonious explanations have been disproved.

    And you still haven’t defined “not-natural”.

  293. scifi says

    Snoof,
    ““a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable”

    Yep, it says exactly what I’ve been saying. Why do many here try so hard to find a different meaning. It says that it’s a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable. It doesn’t say there are exceptions. It’s stating that the existence of a God is unknown and probably unknowable period.

    “Lots of people are agnostic theists”

    This still doesn’t change the definition of agnostic. It still states that they do not know, but that they lean towards theism even though they have no evidence. An atheist, on the other hand states they don’t believe in a god period.

  294. consciousness razor says

    I mean, being caught red-handed quote-mining A DICTIONARY is just about the most pathetic thing I have ever seen, as far as vapid troll behavior goes

    It’s even more pathetic that scifi still doesn’t realize this, or just wants to double-down with this stupidity.

    Then why the heck don’t you label yourself an agnostic, one who admits they don’t know, with atheist leanings?

    I label myself as both agnostic and atheist, not one with leanings toward another, because there’s no middle position. You either believe something or not. The default for something you’ve never even heard of is ignorance (for, say, a human baby) or cognitive inability (for dogs, rocks, etc.). Other than that, you’re either a theist or an atheist, just like you either do or don’t believe in bigfoot, even if you can’t be absolutely certain that one isn’t hiding somewhere in the Pacific Northwest constantly on the move to stay away from the people looking for it.

    I got my definition for agnostic from Merriam-Webster dictionary

    Fan-fucking-tastic. That’s how we settle all philosophical issues: by opening the dictionary and selecting the definition we want. Unfortunately, I got mine by being one for a couple decades and thinking about what it means.

    Are you ever going to get to the fucking point?

  295. mikmik says

    Scifi, this holds the answer to your questions, and it also has the added bonus of describing ‘walking corpse syndrome.’

    Also, I have provided an interesting article for your general reading interest. It starts:

    “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate” or “plurality should not be posited without necessity.” The words are those of the medieval English philosopher and Franciscan monk William of Ockham (ca. 1285-1349).

    Actually, that whole site discusses errors of thinking – enjoy!
    (Note the section on the paranormal)

  296. Snoof says

    It says that it’s a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable. It doesn’t say there are exceptions. It’s stating that the existence of a God is unknown and probably unknowable period.

    And this attitude towards knowledge is utterly compatible with both theism and atheism.

    I have met people who will freely say they don’t know whether or not God exists, but who also still believe in it. I’m related to some of them. That’s the essence of faith, for crying out loud – believing something you don’t (and cannot) know for certain.

    And I _am_ agnostic towards a deist god. I freely admit I have no way of knowing whether or not such an entity exists. I am then compelled by parsimony to take the position “due to the absence of any evidence, I do not believe that a deist god exists”. I am _without belief_ in such an entity, and therefore an atheist.

    You seem to be assuming that all atheists are somehow gnostic atheists (top right corner of the diagram) who have obtained absolute knowledge that no deities of any sort exist anywhere. Your assumption is wrong. There are such atheists, but they’re not the only ones.

  297. KG says

    scifi,

    At what point do you at least admit to yourself that a creator may be the answer?

    When there’s some evidence for it.

    There are a number of things that make me wonder about things like continuation of life after death.

    Your stupid anecdotes are not something anyone needs to take seriously.

    She never heard of the people who have had these experiences going through a dark tunnel.

    Either you’re lying, or she is, or she’s a hermit without a TV or internet access: such accounts have been endlessly recycled for decades. But let’s suppose she hadn’t. So. Fucking. What? No-one denies that people experience such things. But since she was not dead, this tells us precisely nothing about life after death, you impenetrably stupid fuckwit.

  298. mikmik says

    Here is what I alluded to earlier, the problem of ‘coupling’ information outside of our space time with events inside. The quickest way to explain this derives from our understanding of the nothingness from which inflation began, and I quote:

    On the tiniest physical scales — the Planck scale — spacetime isn’t flat at all. Empty space itself vibrates and curves, and there is a fundamental uncertainty in the energy content — at any given time — of nothingness.

    The Physics of Nothing; The Philosophy of Everything

    Scifi, I went without breathing one time: I had an instant onset of severe anaphylaxis, and now I had no way to tell anyone to phone 911, or convey any urgency for help myself. Luckily, my sister was visiting and understood fairly quickly that I was suffocating.
    Now, I can only approximate how long it took for the EMS to gather up and drive from the station at the Bonnie Doon traffic circle to my location right near 75st and Whyte ave(Sherwood park freeway), ascertain the nature of my situation, and take me to the U of A emergency up Whyte ave on a sunny fri evening around 6:30 – 7pm, with a fuckwad paramedic that decided I didn’t need adrenaline or intubation, but suffice to say, I had all those dreamy halo people in white with bright light behind beckoning me,, and guess what? They where! And I recognized this for what it was, anoxia combined with all the staff reaching in to pull my gurney out of the ambulance contrasted against a very bright sky with the sun situated behind them!

    At no time did it ever cross my mind anything about god, nor anything about an afterlife plane of existence – none, fucking zero. For one thing, I figured I couldn’t waste the slightest microjoule of energy doing anything but relaxing and not fighting circumstances, like trying to breath(try that sometime when you are suffocating, it’s amazing what you can do with a rational mind when absolutely necessary – it transcends blinding terror, even) or wishing things were different(although I did wish that motherfucker would’ve intubated me, long story(lol)), but my point is that a very large part of these reported near death experiences are coming from seriously brain impaired individuals with propensity to exaggerate in recall, combined with deeply held preconceptions.
    It doesn’t look like anything other than dying when you don’t believe in magic.

  299. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    Scifi, the word “agnostic” can have two meanings.

    The prefix “a-” means “not”. The root “gnos” means “know”.

    Put them together and it means “not know”.

    It can be used in two ways. “We can not know God” or “I do not know if there is a god.”

    An Agnostic is a philosopher who dismisses the god of the Old Testament, but who believes in a creator of the universe. His god is unknowable and distant, but does exist, out of sheer necessity. He may cover his ass by maintaining that it is impossible to know whether or not a god exists, but that is still a philosophical position. And that is Merriam’s definition 1.

    (An old-timey Baptist who believes that Yahweh spoke to Moses is a Gnostic, who believes in a knowable God (whether he’s ever heard the term).)

    A person who does not know anything about God is agnostic–he knows not. Calling him an Agnostic is possible, but confusing. He has no stand, position or information. He is Merriam 2.

    Here, try this:

    It’s the year 453 in Constantinople, the scene is a waterfront bar.

    A rabid Christian is preaching (in Greek) about Jesus and having a personal relationship with him and his loving father. He wants folks to know God. He is a Gnostic.

    A group of theology and philosophy students are jeering at him (in Greek). They say Jesus never existed, that the Talmud is a parable. Yes, there was a creation, but the god that did it is as un-knowable as the distant stars. They are Agnostics.

    At the other end of the bar is a boy from … well, nobody knows where he is from. He swam ashore one night, from a mysterious ship that left abruptly. He doesn’t speak any language that anyone knows, and what he does to get food is unspeakable. He avoids the arguers, and as for their philosophies, they spoke Greek. He is agnostic.

    See, “agnostic” can mean either, “You can’t know” or “I dunno”. There’s some overlap, but most of that is confusion.

    You, Scifi, are confused.

  300. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    At what point do you at least admit to yourself that a creator may be the answer?

    When there’s some evidence for it.

    While I consider this a very easy to grasp concept why do I get the feeling that scifi will have a hard time grokking it?

  301. Snoof says

    See, “agnostic” can mean either, “You can’t know” or “I dunno”. There’s some overlap, but most of that is confusion.

    I was wondering whether to include the differences between strong and weak agnosticism on my chart, but figured scifi was having enough trouble with the basic concepts without making things more complicated.

  302. Amphiox says

    The “going through a dark tunnel” part is a natural, reproducible physical consequence of an oxygen starved human brain. Any human can experience it regardless of ever having heard of the phenomenon.

    As for the rest, the halos, meeting dead relatives, confirmation-biased coincidences, etc, contemporary culture is steeped in these things. One would have live in a hole since birth without any human contact whatsoever not to be exposed. And as the average atheist knows more about, and thinks more about, the specific details of religious myths than the typical theist, I would not be surprised at all if NDEs were more common among atheists than theists, though atheists may not report these experiences as such as much.

    It is amusing that scifi has degenerated to using an NDE argument. Maybe it really is a sockpuppet of Shiloh after all!

  303. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It is amusing that scifi has degenerated to using an NDE argument. Maybe it really is a sockpuppet of Shiloh after all!

    It may also be that theists (and despite its protestations, I still think Scifi is a theist-too many tells) think that fine tuning and NDE are the two best arguments for their imaginary creator/deity. Sill piss-poor and evidenceless presuppositional arguments, and the inane arguments are not evidence.

  304. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    I have never had a NDE, but I have had some weird stuff going in and out of sleep.

    For a while I was afraid to wake up, because I was having very realistic dreams about people or pets that I loved. When I woke up and they disappeared, it was heart-wrenching. I felt the loss as much as if they had died … and as if they had been real. They were all imaginary—made up—but damn, they seemed real. I would weep for losing them.

    I would then wake up thinking about real people, and be afraid that they, too, would prove to be imaginary. It was frightening.

    Now, I am fortunate to have never had a loved one die. But, if I ever have a dream like that about someone who has passed, I’d be prepared to swear they were really there, except I know better, since I’ve had bogus dreams.

    But someone who has never before had a dream like mine, who dreams of a departed loved one, would swear it was real. Add in a medical emergency, and you have a classic NDE.

  305. Amphiox says

    It may also be that theists (and despite its protestations, I still think Scifi is a theist-too many tells) think that fine tuning and NDE are the two best arguments for their imaginary creator/deity.

    The never seem to realize that while souls and afterlives, standing alone, are unknowable, and could fit into the strong Agnosticism bracket, once you LINK souls and afterlives to NDEs as evidence for them, you change that equation entirely.

    Since NDEs are a real phenomenon that occur in the real world, linking the two immediately moves souls/afterlives from the unknowable to theoretically knowable. NDEs have defined, observable, documented characteristics, and hypothesizing a soul as a cause means attaching defined characteristics to the soul – you are no longer talking about a nebulous concept of a soul, you are talking about a soul with specific properties – properties which allow the soul to be the cause of NDEs.

    That means you are positing a soul that is capable of observing reality – a soul that can float above the body and see the body, the operating room, hear the surgeons talking, and remember all that. And a soul that can they convey that information back to the body and brain, such that the person, once recovered, can use their physical mouth and hands to relate the experience and get it recorded.

    That immediately puts specific restrictions on what soul is and how it should behave. In order to see a soul has to interact with photons. In order to hear, it has to have a mechanism for detecting pressure waves in air. It needs something very much like a brain to process all that sensory input. And it needs some physical interface to convey its memories back to the brain and body.

    This means that either the soul obeys the known laws of physics and biology concerning the behavior of things like photons, pressure waves, and information, or its existence is a violation of those laws requiring the development of new physics.

    If the second, the a priori possibility of souls that can cause NDEs being real is inverse to the likelihood that the current laws of physics are correct, based on all the evidence we have already obtained in support of them. And we have a LOT of evidence pertaining to the behavior of things like photons. And since the behavior of the postulated soul isn’t in the realm of the edges of knowledge (like LHC energy levels), but in the MUNDANE part of current knowledge (seeing big objects like hospital tables, shoes, surgeons, big medical instruments, etc), this requirement means that this kind of soul is less parsimonious than even fairly mind-boggling random coincidences. It is in fact far more likely for a patient to simply guess some, even very specific, feature of say the OR room wherein his or heart stopped and he or she required resuscitation, and get it right, by sheer chance alone, than for this kind of soul to exist. It is still even far more likely for a million such patients to just randomly guess such things and all of them get it right, than for this type of soul to exist.

    Alternately, if the first, a soul that obeys the known laws of physics, then that too has consequences. Specifically, it makes the soul DETECTABLE to experimentation. For example, if a soul can see, and still obeys the known laws of physics concerning photons, then it has to absorb photons and alter the energies of the photons it observes – it has to, essentially, cast a shadow. And that shadow should, theoretically, be detectable. It means, of course, that those who would argue for the existence of this kind of soul should be busy working of means of detecting it, rather than wasting their time arguing on blogs.

    Basically, both scenarios mean that when a theist invokes NDEs as evidence in support of its belief in souls and afterlives, it is actually WEAKENING its own argument, and DECREASING the a priori probability of souls and afterlives existing.

  306. Amphiox says

    At what point do you throw in the towel and admit to yourself that a creator might just be the answer and should be pursued as a possible answer

    When all possible conceivable more parsimonious natural explanations have been tested a directly falsified by evidence.

    when you cannot find evidence of a natural answer?

    Of course, this being scifi, it cannot help but be dishonest yet again, making the deliberately false implication that natural hypotheses have no evidence for them.

    We do in fact have a fair amount of evidence for natural hypotheses, and these were in fact given in earlier responses to scifi. For example, the spontaneous appearance of virtual particles from nothing is not a hypothesis, it is an observed fact.

    We may not have enough evidence yet to have a great deal of confidence in any particular natural hypothesis over other natural hypotheses, but we DO in fact have some evidence for natural hypotheses in general.

    While the evidence for creators is ZERO.

  307. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If we are only evolving then we are just copying things that were in some form before.

    Nope. Lenski.

    By this token, we are being suppressed by some or other form of history.

    Citation needed.

    If we are creating new theories, new idea’s and new visions (of which the expansion is unlimited), then we can live in an orderly society that embraces the advances made in the past with the technology we can add today.

    Citation needed.

    Current, now issues can be dealt with together ???

    You have no issues you presented. “That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Christophere Hitchens.

    Poof, there goes your whole evidenceless post.

  308. says

    Theophontes:

    We were also keen to see if such denizens would fight each other in a kind of cagematch. Sadly teh stoopid works in unison, so we have had no luck to date. :’(

    I have hope that Dano may yet be imprisoned here.

  309. says

    goldenheart:

    idea’s

    ???

    Or we can just be Pirhannas and verbally disagree to disagree.

    Having a basic grasp on grammar, punctuation and the use of a spellchecker if one doesn’t know how to spell, helps when attempting to communicate.

    Do you have any idea at all of where the fuck you are, Cupcake? Or is that you, Misogyniraj?

  310. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Or is that you, Misogyniraj?

    If it is, bye-bye cupcake. Morphing is a banning offense, and rajkumar is already under a ban warning…

  311. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We have had this discussion before…at least twice.

    And for months if it is Shiloh. PZ has the IP addresses so he can compare them. It could be somebody reading off the same “will always convince atheists if you present yourself as being confident (arrogant) enough” script. I don’t feel real thinking is going on with Scifi (or Shiloh either), just script reading.

  312. A. R says

    I have hope that Dano may yet be imprisoned here.

    Dano is still on the loose in threads? Well, I suppose adding a member of the genus Godbotticus could be interesting. (I’ve not enough experience with Dano to classify by species, but if anyone who’s dealt with hir could choose between repetitive/stupid, apologist, and mysogynist as principle characteristics, we can do that.

  313. scifi says

    I left something out:

    “However, I recently had a dear friend who had them screw up a procedure in the hospital where they, unknowingly caused he heart to bleed. Her heart ended up stopping for 6 minutes. She was told that if it had gone for over 9, she would have been gone. I purposely asked her if she remembered anything without mentioning life after death experiences. She said she felt like she was falling through darkness and decided that she must be dying, but then she saw a number of people with halos above their head. ”

    I forgot to mention that the people with halos that my friend saw told her that they would not let her die.

    Could this be the people working to restart her heart. Perhaps, but she was unconscious, so hard to say.

  314. John Morales says

    scifi:

    I forgot to mention that the people with halos that my friend saw told her that they would not let her die.
     
    Could this be the people working to restart her heart. Perhaps, but she was unconscious, so hard to say.

    Such stupidity!

    (Unconscious people aren’t conscious — awareness requires consciousness)

  315. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

    goldenheart,

    Are you planning to auction your posts as dadaist poems?

  316. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, NDE explained by real scientists. With degrees in the field and a peer reviewed articled linked in popular news. You are trumped Scifi, and your anecdotes prior to the paper are all worthless. Welcome to real science, where you are a fuckwitted idjit with the intelligence and cogency of an insect.

  317. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You appear to be a very negative person.

    And you appear to be a fuckwitted evidenceless idjit. Care to play some more?

  318. chigau (副) says

    goldenheart
    google translate is a very useful tool for single words and finding 漢字.
    It is a Vogon’s Armpit for whole sentences.
    Try something else.

  319. chigau (副) says

    A. R
    I think there is a word order issue.
    If I deform an English sentence into Japanese word-order it works pretty well.
    (For simple sentences.)

  320. chigau (副) says

    Please, someone link to danielhaven’s banning.
    Oh, our poor little trollikins!

  321. A. R says

    chigau: Yeah, GT needs to work on the grammar for non-European languages. Don’t even try the Latin. It licks monkey sphincter.

  322. John Morales says

    I think there is a word order issue.
    There is a word order issue, I think.
    I think a word order issue there is.
    Think I there is a word order issue.
    A word order issue, I think there is.

    (Bored, now)

  323. chigau (副) says

    John Morales
    yeah, but did you run all that through GT for English to Japanese to Haitian Creole to English?
    Hands-on is more fun than BadTranslate.

  324. Ichthyic says

    I left something out:

    you forgot to put your brains back in your head?

  325. Amphiox says

    If we are only evolving then we are just copying things that were in some form before.

    SOMEONE doesn’t comprehend the meaning of the world “evolving”.

    And I don’t mean the theory of evolution. I mean the basic english language word.

  326. Amphiox says

    I left something out

    And that part that was left out is relevant how, now?

  327. Sophia Dodds says

    no mention of http://translationparty.com/? Best tool for turning words into salad there is, IMO.

    Also – I love the misundrestandings of the agnostic/atheist definitions.

    Agnosticism or gnosticism have to do with KNOWLEDGE (and knowability).

    Atheism or theism have to do with BELIEF.

    Belief =/= knowledge or knowability. Totally different concepts – so yes – it is perfectly possible to be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or a gnostic theist or gnostic atheist. To spell it out:

    An agnostic theist thinks that it is not possible to know if gods exist, but believes that they do exist.

    An agnostic atheist thinks that it is not possible to know if gods exist, and lacks belief in gods.

    A gnostic theist thinks that it is possible to know if gods exist, and believes that they do exist.

    A gnostic atheist thinks that it is possible to know if gods exist, and lacks belief in gods.

  328. Ichthyic says

    let’s get to the crux of sci-fi’s argument:

    However, what I am saying is that a creator makes more sense

    Yes, TO YOU, it makes more sense.

    but you’re an ignorant dumbass.

    to those who actually know something about these issues, it makes no sense at all, because there is NOTHING to support the contentions you are making.

    sorry, but gut feelings simply do not reality make, fuckwit.

    is that clear, now?

  329. scifi says

    Nerd of Redhead,
    “Why must our knowledge be absolute to call deities imaginary if there is no evidence for them? ”

    Because, so long as you can reason that intelligence is required for a matter to appear from nothing by itself and expand into a finely tuned universe necessary for life, then that leaves the door open to a creator and leaves you requirement to show evidence that your statement that a creator is imaginary is correct.

    “Oh, and your definition of agnostic essentially presupposes the existence of a deity. ”

    No it doesn’t. Agnostic can refer to the lack of knowledge of different things. In this case you have theist stating a god exists and atheist on the other side saying a god does not exist. Agnostics consider both sides and admit that there is no evidence one way or another so they state that they lack knowledge as to whether or not there is a god.

  330. scifi says

    Snoof,
    “I am then compelled by parsimony to take the position “due to the absence of any evidence”

    And I am compelled to use reason to take the position I have come up with.

  331. Amphiox says

    Because, so long as you can reason that intelligence is required

    This is the point. You CAN’T reason so.

    for a matter to appear from nothing

    Dishonestly presuppositional. It is not even established that there even is such a thing as “nothing”, nor that matter ever needed to “appear”.

    by itself

    More dishonest presupposition. Matter need not have “appeared” by itself. A wholly natural, but deterministic process could have resulted in the production of matter, without need for any intelligence of any sort.

    and expand into a finely tuned universe

    More dishonest presupposition. It has not even been demonstrated that the universe is necessarily finely tuned at all. In fact the hypothesis that the “fine-tuning” is actually an illusion resulting from our limited perspective is a wholly valid hypothesis at this point.

    necessary for life,

    Once again, define “life”. Define “necessary”. Define “for”.

    then that leaves the door open to a creator

    Irrelevant. Parsimony.

    and leaves you requirement to show evidence that your statement that a creator is imaginary is correct.

    NO IT IS NOT A REQUIREMENT YOU DISHONEST FOOL. THIS HAS ALREADY BEEN EXPLAINED TO YOU MANY, MANY TIMES. WHY DO YOU KEEP REPEATING THIS PATHETIC, DEBUNKED LINE OF ARGUMENT? WHY DO YOU KEEP LYING?

    PARSIMONY. PARSIMONY. PARSIMONY.

    NULL HYPOTHESIS. NULL HYPOTHESIS. NULL HYPOTHESIS.

    EVERYTHING is imaginary until evidence demonstrates otherwise.

    What is your creator made of, if not matter (don’t say energy. Energy is the same thing as matter)?

    How can intelligence arise, without matter?

    How can something that all existing evidence indicates REQUIRES matter in order to exist explain the emergence of matter?

    How many posts has scifi made now? How many have been EXACTLY THE SAME DISCREDITED THING, REPEATED AD NAUSEUM, WITHOUT CHANGE, WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTERARGUMENT? Is scifi even human? Capable of learning?

    Or is scifi a bot?

    A tape recorder?

  332. scifi says

    John Morales,
    “Unconscious people aren’t conscious — awareness requires consciousness)”

    OR, do I dare say it because I know I will be ascended on with flak, it indicates consciousness is separate from the brain. What have some called it? Oh yeah, a soul. Just more evidence that the naturalist might just be wrong. Yes there have been attempts to simulate NDEs but none have entirely matched them. By ignoring these facts, it is essentially focusing a blind eye because you simply do not want to admit that you could be wrong. The Nerd does this all the time and thinks that calling it idiotic strengthens her case. Nerd, guess what? It doesn’t.

  333. Amphiox says

    And I am compelled to use reason to take the position I have come up with

    Scifi either doesn’t understand what the word “reason” means in english, or this statement is yet another bald-faced lie on its part.

  334. scifi says

    Amphiox,
    “What is your creator made of, if not matter (don’t say energy. Energy is the same thing as matter)?”

    Why don’t you tell us all? You act like you know. I admit I don’t.

  335. John Morales says

    scifi:

    In this case you have theist stating a god exists and atheist on the other side saying a god does not exist.

    You’ve either ignored or failed to understand what various people have told you, since you speak of gnostic theists and atheists and ignore the existence of agnostic theists and atheists.

    OR, do I dare say it because I know I will be ascended on with flak, it indicates consciousness is separate from the brain.

    Such stupidity!

    Whether it’s separate or not, if someone is unconscious (as you claimed this person was) then they are not conscious.

    (Consciousness and awareness are synonyms)

    What have some called it? Oh yeah, a soul.

    By your own claim, if consciousness is a soul, then unconsciousness is perforce soullessness.

    (Such stupidity!)

  336. mikmik says

    Because, so long as you can reason that intelligence is required for a matter to appear from nothing by itself and expand into a finely tuned universe necessary for life, then that leaves the door open to a creator and leaves you requirement to show evidence that your statement that a creator is imaginary is correct.

    No one has ‘reasoned’ that intelligence is required. Go read my link to SWAB. It has only been ‘reasoned’, and by reasoned I mean based on data and science, that intelligence is most definitely NOT needed.

    Where do you guys always come up with bullshit like this? And, your inclusion of ‘finely tuned’ is BS because it’s a buzzword, and you don’t understand what it means, especially since it been repeatedly demonstrated that it is anything BUT fine tuned, more than 99% hostile to life, and if it seems hospitable to anything at all, that would be black holes.

    There is no mention of intelligence in virtually every article I ever read, like this one in a long line lately about :How to Unbalance Nothingness: Physicists Calculate the Time Development of the Vacuum Decay

    Where the fuck do you get the idea that a creator, god, no less, is ever relevant in cosmology and high energy physics? Start providing citations if you are going to keep parroting that demonstrated bullshit of yours. Demonstrated in complete and multiple ways – up one side and down the other ways, you sound like a blithering idiot ways. That fucking talking point is OVER, scifi!

  337. Amphiox says

    OR, do I dare say it because I know I will be ascended on with flak, it indicates consciousness is separate from the brain. What have some called it? Oh yeah, a soul. Just more evidence that the naturalist might just be wrong.

    Consciousness separate from a brain requires information processing without a substrate to process that information on. This violates every single known law of physics and biology. Given the level of certainty that WE HAVE EVIDENCE FOR for these laws of physics and chemistry, the likelihood they are actually wrong on this particular realm is on the order of one in quintillions. Even a mind-boggling coincidence is more parsimonious that postulating a consciousness separate from the body.

    Quite simply, if consciousness can be separate from a brain, then we should be able to observe water spontaneously running uphill. That is the level of violation of known natural law that disembodied consciousness requires.

    This is SO reminiscent of Shiloh that the sockpuppet hypothesis is really appearing more and more likely.

  338. Amphiox says

    Why don’t you tell us all? You act like you know. I admit I don’t.

    Yet more dishonest wankery from scifi.

    YOU are the one proposing the possibility of a creator. The ONUS IS ON YOU TO DESCRIBE WHAT YOU PROPOSE.

    But this has already been explained to the idiot liar, so this above post is simply more evidence of pitiful intellectual dishonesty on its part.

    Utterly pathetic.

  339. Snoof says

    This still doesn’t change the definition of agnostic. It still states that they do not know, but that they lean towards theism even though they have no evidence.

    For the love of… no, they don’t “lean”. They believe. Genuinely. It’s not what I’d call a justified belief, but it’s a belief. Therefore they are theists. “Leaning” towards theism doesn’t even make sense. Either you have the god-belief (theism) or you don’t (atheism). It’s a binary proposition.

    Are you actually reading anyone’s posts? Did you even look at the diagram?

    It has been explained repeatedly that (a)theism and (a)gnosticism are mutually compatible propositions. They don’t exclude each other.

    If you want to claim otherwise, you need to show your working. How are the statements “I do not know if there is a god” and “I do not believe in a god” incompatible?

    Also, NDEs? Seriously? That’s not even an argument for theism. Even if we demonstrate there is a soul, and there is a life after death (highly improbable), that _still_ doesn’t mean there’s a god.

  340. Amphiox says

    I admit I don’t.

    If a creator IS made of matter, then it is IMPOSSIBLE for a creator to have made matter. And therefore the statement “it is possible that a creator might have made the universe” BECOMES A LIE.

    Therefore if you “admit” don’t know what the creator is made of, YOU CANNOT HONESTLY SAY THE STATEMENT “it is possible for a creator to have made the universe”.

    Before you can honestly say “it is possible” for a creator to have made the universe, YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT THE CREATOR IS NOT MADE OF MATTER.

    And since you have, repeatedly, said that “it is possible” for a creator to have made the universe, your statement above CANNOT BE TRUTHFUL.

    YOU ARE LYING, AGAIN.

    Pitiful.

  341. Amphiox says

    The Nerd does this all the time and thinks that calling it idiotic strengthens her case.

    And, like clockwork, as is typical of the troll pattern, we detect just a hint of potential misogyny leaking out of scuffy’s facade.

    Where in the ‘nym Nerd of Redhead is there even the hint of any suggestion of gender?

    It is rather typical behavior of prior misogynists to automatically assume without evidence that someone who doesn’t agree with them must be female. (Nerd is male. The Redhead is his significant other.)

    Can I PROVE that scuffy is a misogynistic asshole? No, but it is certainly POSSIBLE that misogyny is REQUIRED to make a mistaken assumption such as this one, and post a post like this. I must therefore remain AGNOSTIC about the scuffy’s POSSIBILITY for raging misogyny, and admit that it is POSSIBLE that the scuffy is an evil, woman-hating piece of scum (with apologies to legitimate, hard working, sweet oxygen producing scum).

    I mean, one just CANNOT KNOW….

  342. Ichthyic says

    Because, so long as you can reason that intelligence is required for a matter to appear from nothing

    but, you didn’t reason yourself into that position. The application of reason requires logic and evidence.

    you have neither.

    this is why we can’t argue you out of this position USING reason and evidence: You only THINK you used reason to get to where you’re at. As the old saying goes….

    you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.

    you’re suffering from Dunning Kruger syndrome. Nothing we say or evidence we provide will change your mind, because we actually DO use reason and evidence, and this is NOT how you came to your conclusions.

  343. Ichthyic says

    It’s a binary proposition.

    agreed.

    agnosticism as defined on the theistic scale doesn’t actually exist.

    for all practical purposes, one is either a theist or an atheist, period.

  344. Ichthyic says

    OR, do I dare say it because I know I will be ascended on with flak, it indicates consciousness is separate from the brain. What have some called it? Oh yeah, a soul.

    no… what that is called is dualism, which you’d know if you in fact, you know, actually KNEW ANYTHING about what you’re talking about.

    but, being the completely ignorant ass that you are, and suffering from Dunning Kruger like you are, are simply incapable of ever understanding.

    Dualism was dead as philosophy over 100 years ago, and was cremated with the invention of cognitive science.

    http://ronbc.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/oh-my-soul-%E2%80%94-cognitive-science-and-the-death-of%C2%A0dualism/

  345. mikmik says

    Dear Scifi,
    Your recent series of philosophical articles strike me as deeply reasoned and well thought out. Since we seem to resonate so coherently on these matters, I thought you might appreciate my new theories on the composition of the moon, life after death, and other topics that are obvious to those of us with common sense.

    For instance, it IS POSSIBLE that the moon is made of green cheese inside, right? Obviously, it may very well be possible. But we are still left to deal with this kind of naive crap – some people just don’t get it, do they?!

    Obviously this is completely crazy. Our conviction that green cheese makes up a negligible fraction of the Moon’s interior comes not from direct observation, but from the gross incompatibility of that idea with other things we think we know. Given what we do understand about rocks and planets and dairy products and the Solar System, it’s absurd to imagine that the Moon is made of green cheese. We know better.

    We also know better for life after death, although people are much more reluctant to admit it. Admittedly, “direct” evidence one way or the other is hard to come by — all we have are a few legends and sketchy claims from unreliable witnesses with near-death experiences, plus a bucketload of wishful thinking. But surely it’s okay to take account of indirect evidence — namely, compatibility of the idea that some form of our individual soul survives death with other things we know about how the world works.

    Claims that some form of consciousness persists after our bodies die and decay into their constituent atoms face one huge, insuperable obstacle: the laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood, and there’s no way within those laws to allow for the information stored in our brains to persist after we die. If you claim that some form of soul persists beyond death, what particles is that soul made of? What forces are holding it together? How does it interact with ordinary matter?

    Everything we know about quantum field theory (QFT) says that there aren’t any sensible answers to these questions. Of course, everything we know about quantum field theory could be wrong. Also, the Moon could be made of green cheese.

    Among advocates for life after death, nobody even tries to sit down and do the hard work of explaining how the basic physics of atoms and electrons would have to be altered in order for this to be true. If we tried, the fundamental absurdity of the task would quickly become evident.

    I mean, fuck scifi, it’s still possible, wouldn’t you agree? This guy doesn’t even TRY to prove that it’s not possible. Aarrgghh!

    I feel a kinship of the soul with you, and I invite your correspondence. You can reach me at:
    Mikmik
    Rm. 3c, Level 6,
    Isolation Ward,
    Danvers State Hospital
    06660

  346. theophontes 777 says

    @ scifi

    Yeah, I’ve heard that there have been experiments through drugs and use of magnets, but they never seem to match these experiences of people whose hearts stop.

    Ahh the No True ™ Scotsman NDE gambit. {looks around for goddist bingo card}

    Why do many here try so hard to find a different meaning.

    FIFY : Why don’t you all just agree with me?

    An atheist, on the other hand states they don’t believe in a god period.

    Oh, lawdy. Snoof‘s diagram is not that hard to understand. You don’t need to make your own shit up. Notice also that the quadrants above the horizontal line are empty except for yourself in the top left. People claim to belong in those, but no-one has ever provided conclusive proof. In practical terms, we are all agnostic. Even if some claim otherwise.

    As Menyambal shows, The Snoof diagram can also be a handy way to discuss people’s claims in a philosophical debate. Don’t conflate what is claimed with what is proven.
    You are making a claim that you know (gnostic) that there is a deity (theist). I am just pointing out that in reality you are an agnostic (by way of your failure to provide evidence) and a theist (claiming a deity, that additionally created the universe.)

    @ Nerd

    I have seen teh xtians claiming that Lenski’s work did in fact not indicate evolution. I shall have to try and dig up the linky. (On the other hand, is there any science that they do not try and refute?)

    @ Caine

    I have hope that Dano may yet be imprisoned here.

    I have not seen the Dano around. I am concerned our fence is too low here and that we cannot contain the trolls. DH666 got hammered for going feral?

    @ goldenheart

    TL;DR

    What on earth did that blathering mean?

    @ chigau

    Oh, our poor little trollikins!

    I feel like a very bad pet parent. If only I had done things differently…

    @ Amphiox

    How can intelligence arise, without matter?

    Luminiferous aether!!!!elebenty!!!1!!

    @ scifi

    [Nerd] her case

    She’s such an uppity wimmin. So DEMANDING… wanting EVIDENCE all the time…!!!!1!!

  347. Ichthyic says

    In practical terms, we are all agnostic. Even if some claim otherwise.

    no… in practical terms, we actually are all atheists.

    or do you live your life based on the possibility that some deity somewhere might actually exist?

    I’m betting not.

  348. Ichthyic says

    She’s such an uppity wimmin.

    yeah! Except for the fact that she is a he.

  349. Hekuni Cat says

    She’s such an uppity wimmin. So DEMANDING… wanting EVIDENCE all the time…!!!!1!!

    Well, everyone knows Nerd is the only woman on Pharyngula.

    [/sarcasm]

  350. chigau (副) says

    Is

    blockquoting

    really sooooo difficult?
    Is preview really sooooo difficult?

  351. theophontes 777 says

    @ Nerd

    Re: Refutation of Lenski’s conclusions:

    Mutations which lead to adaptation, termed adaptive mutations, can readily fit within a creation model where adaptive mechanisms are a designed feature of bacteria allowing them to survive in a fallen world.

    [my emphasis. scifi would feel right at home with that mob]

    Link. (Not the one I originally read, but in similar vein. More science => more denial from the goddists.)

  352. Amphiox says

    Oh, lawdy. Snoof‘s diagram is not that hard to understand.

    Snoof’s diagram requires plotting two axes onto two dimensional space, created wholly FOUR categories, which blend into one another on a relative scale.

    Scuffy is a binary thinker who can only grasp the existence of two poles to any issue.

    You ask way to much of him. It’s hopeless.

    She’s such an uppity wimmin. So DEMANDING… wanting EVIDENCE all the time…!!!!1!!

    Well, sure it could be just a simple mistake. “Redhead” is after all in this current culture more often associated and used to describe individuals of the female persuasion, and given the scuffy’s previous difficulties with conjunctions like “for”, it could well have similar trouble with “of”.

    I mean, that would be the parsimonious explanation. But parsimony be damned. Think of all the finely tuned parameters that would all have to fall in place for this to just be a random mistake. It makes much more sense that intelligence, ie deliberate misogyny, is necessary. We have no evidence that such intelligent hating wasn’t involved. We must remain AGNOSTIC about the possibility of the scuffy’s misogyny. We simply cannot know that the scuffy is not a woman-hating fuckwit.

  353. says

    scifi:

    Because, so long as you can reason that intelligence is required for a matter to appear from nothing by itself…

    How do you reason this? You haven’t provided your propositions, reasoning, and conclusions. All you’ve done is assert this is true.

    First, intelligence isn’t required for matter to appear from nothing. Second, you haven’t established there is nothing. Third… well, third, all you’ve done here is demonstrate an incredible amount of ignorance of physics.

    …and expand into a finely tuned universe necessary for life,…

    Finely tuned? Really? What, exactly, is a finely-tuned universe? How is it tuned? What are the variables that are tuned, and how do the relate to each other?

    You seem to enjoy repeating what others have said, with no understanding of what you are saying. That’s really not your fault, as those you are repeating also have little to no clue what they are babbling about either.

    …then that leaves the door open to a creator and leaves you requirement to show evidence that your statement that a creator is imaginary is correct.

    Uhm, no. You seem to have a vast and incurable ignorance of epistemology. You didn’t read that link I gave you about the null hypothesis, did you?

    Did you come here to discuss these things, and maybe learn a thing or two, or did you come here to try to demonstrate your intellectual superiority? Whichever the case might be, you’ve failed miserably.

  354. Amphiox says

    Luminiferous aether!

    The luminiferous aether IS matter!

    Or it would be, if it actually existed. The properties ascribed to it are properties that only a type of matter should possess.

  355. theophontes 777 says

    @ Ichthyic

    she is a he.

    Je connais.

    I know that I am really starting to irritate teh menz when my sex changes.

  356. says

    You can never reasonably go against parsimony…that’s sort of the point.

    Because, so long as you can reason that intelligence is required for a matter to appear from nothing by itself…

    Intelligence is the capacity to problem solve. How and why would you have an intelligence that was otherwise?

    All intelligence seen has been either designed or evolved, and serves an obvious purpose. Designed ‘intelligences’ serve a function of the creator. Evolved intelligences allow said being to observe and analysis it’s environment.

    I fail to see how any entity that comes from, by definition, a LACK of environment could have any property remotely resembling intelligence.

    It’s like saying that before water existed there must have been Soup

  357. Amphiox says

    You seem to enjoy repeating what others have said, with no understanding of what you are saying.

    scuffy also apparently likes to repeat what IT has said, again and again and again.

    You didn’t read that link I gave you about the null hypothesis, did you?

    Obviously not.

    I mean, this,

    Because, so long as you can reason that intelligence is required for a matter to appear from nothing by itself and expand into a finely tuned universe necessary for life, then that leaves the door open to a creator and leaves you requirement to show evidence that your statement that a creator is imaginary is correct.

    is pretty much identical to scuffy’s original posts, with just a couple words changed around.

    It has completely ignored EVERYTHING we have presented to it, EVERYTHING we have told it about presupposition, parsimony, null hypotheses, burden of evidence, virtual particles, quantum foam, anthropic principles, the illusion of fine-tuning, EVERYTHING.

    For ALL these weeks, we have been wasting our time with it. Everything we have said to it has gone in one ear and out the other. It has not acknowledged a SINGLE thing we have told it, not read a single resource we have given it. Not a one.

    It is obvious that it had never had any intention of engaging in any form of honest discussion. It’s just been wanking the whole time.

  358. says

    Amphiox:

    The luminiferous aether IS matter!

    Or it would be, if it actually existed.

    But it does exist!

    Once I held my breath for a really long time. (Long story — let’s just say my parents weren’t as sorry as I thought they’d be.) I passed out. I went down a long tunnel of golden luminiferous aether, and there at the other end of the tunnel I saw all my friends and family and they all had halos of LA, and it was all so golden and bright and peaceful and calm.

    And that’s how I know it’s real.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that they said my parents were really, really sorry that I had held my breath until I died, and that they were so sorry, they would get me the Evel Kenevil bike with the cool streamers on the handlebars. And they said I could have a monkey.

    And it’s all true, even though my parents weren’t sorry at all, and I never got the bike, and it turns out that monkeys bite and are unhygienic.

    But all this proves luminiferous aether exists.

  359. Amphiox says

    But all this proves luminiferous aether exists.

    Well, there’s nothing that can prove it DOESN’T exist.

    So we have to remain AGNOSTIC about it, right?

  360. chigau (副) says

    Nigel #460
    Do you have a church somewhere?
    Do you want money?
    You have convinced me!
    eyemon!

  361. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    If you can get consciousness without a material body, how can that consciousness sense anything? It has no eyes, how does it see?

    Obviously, it has some sort of ESP powers. Well, why should a person who has never had any ESP suddenly develop powers when in the process of dying? And who has ever shown that any powers exist at all?

    I suggest that believers like ESP because ESP is very much like the intuition that they use instead of reason and research. “Hey,” they can say, “I just know.”

    To take it a bit further, a currently-alive believer is already a drifting consciousness with no connection to the material world, gaining information by impossible means. For a person like that, a NDE isn’t much of a change.

  362. Sophia Dodds says

    Here’s a nice little refutation of substance dualism, for anyone who likes to think the brain and the mind are separate things, or that there’s any kind of ‘soul’ separate from our physical bodies.

  363. Ichthyic says

    Is

    blockquoting

    really sooooo difficult?

    if you’re speaking to our resident pretend theist, then evidently so.

    if you’re speaking to me, then no, it isn’t. I italicize instead of blockquote specifically to irritate you. Didn’t you know?

    *rolleyes*

  364. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Because, so long as you can reason that intelligence is required for a matter to appear from nothing by itself and expand into a finely tuned universe necessary for life, then that leaves the door open to a creator and leaves you requirement to show evidence that your statement that a creator is imaginary is correct.

    This is utter and total presuppositional bullshit, from start to finish, as has been ripped apart above since your post by several people. That isn’t reasoning, because without your presupposition of the possibility of a creator existing, it is never considered by rational people; it is an unnecessary inclusion of the stupornatural. You have essentially stated the old and failed concept that if something was created, it requires a creator syndrome. Proved fallacious time and time again. I call it a syndrome since it is pathological thinking, or rather non-thinking. You are good at pathological non-thinking.

    That line of bullshit is your logic, not mine, nor is it general. It is only used by theists trying to get any recognition of imaginary deities/creators, and is a pathetic case of vague definitions, presuppositions, and shitty logic. You don’t answer questions, but repeat your fuckwittery like repetition convinces you it is right, but it can’t convince us since we require evidence. Evidence you admit you don’t have. Classic case of can’t put up, can’t shut up, ergo you have nothing but lies and bullshit.

    My logic says no creator exists due to lack of evidence, nor is needed to explain the universe. Your creator is imaginary until you can provide conclusive physical evidence for it. And you don’t do that. It makes you a liar and bullshitter. Which is what your attempt to sound like you have shown something significant (no you haven’t) and keep repeating over and over like a mantra (it isn’t one, it is presuppositional bullshit).

    You are selling you idea, but we show you why we aren’t buying. Can’t you change your spiel at least? You won’t make any sales with your present lies and bullshit and totally dishonest presupposition fuckwittery.

    As has been pointed out above, I am a man and my hair color is bald. Your thinking abilities are limited. Your script failed. Can’t you accept the reality that you failed, and that your creator is imaginary, existing only between your illogical ears?

  365. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    you can reason that intelligence is required for matter to appear from nothing by itself

    Can you demonstrate that intelligence can bring forth matter from nothing?

    Show us an example of matter being made to appear by pure force of will. You have reasoned that it is required, but by nobody and nowhere has it ever happened, or even been considered possible. Show it happening. (And please hurry—I could use a sandwich.)

    a finely tuned universe necessary for life, then that leaves the door open to a creator and leaves you requirement to show evidence that your statement that a creator is imaginary is correct.

    Did you know that if your spinal cord was just one one-hundredth of an inch shorter, it would not reach your brain and you’d be paralyzed? It must be finely-tuned!

    Actually, you’d be dead and we wouldn’t be having this psuedo-conversation. And if this universe were a little different, we wouldn’t be here. Unless you can demonstrate that there is some divine hand KEEPING the universe in tune, you got nothing.

    We have shown, many others have shown elsewhere, that a creator is unnecessary. As has been said, 200 years ago, everybody thought a creator was needed, so science started with the assumption that YOU are convinced nobody has ever considered. And, most of us here started out in our personal lives believing in a creator—we have each realized none was needed, or even possible.

    We cannot bring you to realize the truth, for some reason within yourself. You must discover it, yourself. What you are doing here is not discovery or learning. Go somewhere else and start honestly seeking truth.

    Good luck.

  366. scifi says

    Nerd of redhead,
    “all we have are a few legends and sketchy claims from unreliable witnesses with near-death experiences, plus a bucketload of wishful thinking.”

    Have you read any of the positive scientific studies on NDEs? Obviously not, or you wouldn’t claim them to be sketch and unreliable. They even have a web site where people with these experiences can describe their experiences and answer numerous questions. There appears to be a lot more people who have experienced NDEs than a ‘few’.

  367. says

    chigau:

    Do you have a church somewhere?

    I’ve been seriously considering founding one. I am God, after all. And since you can’t prove I’m not, the odds are 50/50 that I am.

    Those are pretty damned good odds.

    Do you want money?

    Sure, we all do!*

     

    * Obligatory Sally Struthers reference, for all you young’uns/non-US folks out there.

  368. chigau (副) says

    I italicize instead of blockquote specifically to irritate you.

    Shit! I just knew it!

  369. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    They even have a web site where people with these experiences can describe their experiences and answer numerous questions.

    Woohoo! A web site! How strictly controlled is that site, and how are the accounts vetted? And how many million confirmed accounts will you need to establish that a statistically-significant percent of all people who nearly die have a classic NDE?

    Right here on this web site right here I have described my own experience with something closely resembling a NDE, that happened while I was alive and healthy. Did that impress you?

    Science, real science, has brought so many strange things from unbelievable to everyday—magnetism, electricity, flight, vaccines–that I find it bizarre when someone keeps hammering away at something like NDEs as if science is invested in stamping out discovery.

    Seriously, dude, if there were anything to NDEs, students would be doing papers, scientists would be winning Nobels, and we’d all be getting right with Jesus. How, exactly, do you justify the lack of scientific confirmation of NDEs?

    (I used to attend a Baptist church led by a man who had “died” and saw Jesus. I heard his account many times. So it isn’t like I don’t know anything about NDE. But I could see his account was unprovable and incoherent, and that he was a mean, crazy man, as gullible as a very gullible thing in a gullibility-enhancing place.)

  370. 'Tis Himself says

    I am God, after all. And since you can’t prove I’m not, the odds are 50/50 that I am.

    Someone’s been hanging out with the postmodernists.

  371. consciousness razor says

    I am God, after all. And since you can’t prove I’m not, the odds are 50/50 that I am.

    Those are pretty damned good odds.

    No quite. You could also be a figment of my imagination, therefore the odds are 33 1/3% for each.

    Additionally, it could be that I am a brain in a vat which merely imagines you are real, thus all four are equally 25% probable.

    However, that does not take into account that my brain in a vat is actually simulated in an immensely large computer (the simulation of which includes you as a figment of it), in which case there is a fifth possibility and all are 20%.

    So at most, you only have a 20% chance of being God, if we stop there and include no other alternatives. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to stop there (and no sooner), thus it is clear that you have a 20% chance of being God. So do I and the roughly seven billion other people on this planet, if they exist. Since it’s possible that they do not exist, we should abstain from having any beliefs about it.

  372. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    From a NDE discussion on SB. My response to the NDE “evidence”:

    I don’t see any conclusive physical evidence NDE is anything other than hypoxia, the brain shutting down and starting up, and the emplanting false memories in order to try to make sense of it, either on its own, or by talking with people and social expectations.
    I’ll give you an example of what I mean. In bigfoot lore, the Patterson film is allegedly evidence bigfoot exists. Never mind, if one looks at the wiki article under hoax allegations, a man has come forward claiming he wore the ape suit and gave details on how it was carried out. This testamony by a participant essentially taints the Patterson film as evidence, and the film, if proponents were honest and have integrity, should not be brought up to skeptics as “evidence”.
    Now, your anecdotes above are the equivalent of the Patterson film to skeptics. It may convince those who already believe, or wish to show up those uppity scientists and skeptics. But it is very poor scientific evidence, even if looked at by scientists. After all, there are some scientists who still believe the shroud of Turin is real even after carbon dating showed it to be a medieval fraud. So claims to authority of that nature are out.
    Now, I am open to looking at real evidence for bigfoot. But, that evidence needs to solid, physical and conclusive. Capturing the creature, finding and recovering a body or skeleton, or even hair or skat that can be analyzed by DNA to determine the creatures identity. The order of conclusiveness is in the same order I wrote. A few tagless hair samples are not evidence.
    The same level of evidence needs to be applied for NDE. You claim soul, show the soul exists from outside of NDE. After all, if it interacts with matter, it can be evidenced. It if doesn’t interact with matter, how can you even presume/determine it exists? Parsimony then concludes non-existence. Sounds like you need to invent the Soultron™ 3000, which can conclusively find and record scientifically any soul in the neighborhood, without any false positives, and show that the soul actually leaves the body and moves around, returning to the body during the NDE experience. Or it didn’t happen.
    So, meanwhile fade into the bandwidth and seriously upgrade your “evidence”. It is weak and tainted at the moment.

    Either put up that level of evidence, or shut the fuck up. Oh, and your creator is as imaginary as the soul. Both exist only between your ears in your delusional mind.

  373. scifi says

    Menyambal,
    “We cannot bring you to realize the truth, for some reason within yourself. You must discover it, yourself. What you are doing here is not discovery or learning. Go somewhere else and start honestly seeking truth.”

    How do I discover the truth when no convincing evidence has been found to indicate whether or not a creator exists or does not exist? You tell me to go elsewhere and I already have. Krauss so far is the best speculation I’ve found, but even he admits to not having proof.

  374. consciousness razor says

    How do I discover the truth when no convincing evidence has been found to indicate whether or not a creator exists or does not exist?

    Is the only answer you want “God exists” or “God doesn’t exist”? Is that the little bit of truth you want, or do you want the truth about the whole of reality, whatever that turns out to be?

    There are mountains of evidence about how the world works, in all sorts of different domains, going back to the very first moments after the big bang. There is a lot we don’t yet understand fully, but everything we do understand has come with science and careful, rigorous logic. That’s how you can discover the truth.

    We haven’t needed the existence of any gods to understand the world. What do you think would be left unexplained, if we can never absolutely rule out the existence of some god or another? What effect would its existence have that its nonexistence wouldn’t? What is it supposed to do?

  375. Amphiox says

    There appears to be a lot more people who have experienced NDEs than a ‘few’.

    And this is relevant how?

    All those people have brains. There is no feature of any NDE that is not more parsimoniously explained by the NDE being produced by a human brain.

  376. Amphiox says

    How do I discover the truth when no convincing evidence has been found to indicate whether or not a creator exists or does not exist?

    Still ignoring everything it has been told about parsimony, probability, null hypotheses, and presupposition.

    Still just repeating its very first claims without alteration despite everything that has already been presented to it.

    Pitifully dishonest.

    Krauss so far is the best speculation I’ve found, but even he admits to not having proof.

    Still repeating the useless concept of ‘proof’ even after having been educated in detail about why it is invalid.

    Still regurgitating pretty much the exact same sentence it barfed up on its first appearance, ignoring everything said to it refuting its completely faulty conception since.

    Still wasting all of our time here.

    Pathetically dishonest.

  377. says

    Opps. I made a mistake. I posted a comment outside this thread un-intentionality. Sorry.

    Professor Myers, I would like to ask:

    Am I allowed to have a short discussion about Sam Harris’ field(s) of expertise here??? People have been saying I will get banned if I come back. You have said no such thing. Please let me know.

  378. says

    Scifi:

    Baby, baby language:

    The ‘no creator’ explanation is good enough for now. It explains a lot of stuff.

    If it stops being good enough – like, we find something it totally doesn’t explain – we’ll start looking for a better explanation.

    It’s like Newtonian mechanics. It totes explains all kinds of stuff. But then we started seeing stuff that was weird, and we were all ‘whoa, Newtonian mechanics is totally FAIL here’, we started looking for more complicated answers. And we found relativity and quantum mechanics.

    But until we DO find some stuff that the ‘no creator’ explanation totes can’t handle, there’s no point looking for something else.

    You don’t go looking for a robertson screwdriver if all the screws you have ever seen are flat head, and you have a fine selection of flat head screwdrivers.

  379. Ichthyic says

    People have been saying I will get banned if I come back. You have said no such thing. Please let me know.

    no.

    go bite your nails in the corner, wondering.

  380. Ichthyic says

    There appears to be a lot more people who have experienced NDEs than a ‘few’.

    argumentum ad populum.

    there were a lot more people who once were absolutely sure the world was flat.

  381. Ichthyic says

    Have you read any of the positive scientific studies on NDEs?

    positive in what fashion?

    I’ve seen them all cited, and even at cursory glance, there is no conclusive evidence that NDE’s are anything but tangential phenomena to naturally occurring events.

    that you want to believe otherwise doesn’t make it so, nor does it actually change the results or conclusions of any peer-reviewed research on the matter.

    the question really is, why do you feel so insistent that NDE’s MUST be supernatural in origin and explanation?

    you don’t listen to anything we actually say to you, so maybe at least you could explore this question within yourself.

    because, frankly, you’re not even being honest with yourself; let alone the rest here.

    you have a LONG LONG way to go to evaluate evidence critically.

  382. Ichthyic says

    Shit! I just knew it!

    lol

    FWIW, here are the loose rules I use:

    clipped from another source outside of thread?

    blockquote

    a paragraph clipped from the OP, instead of just a word or two?

    blockquote

    comments I’m responding to in thread?

    italics

  383. Ichthyic says

    “A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone.”

    -C Darwin

  384. Ichthyic says

    and of course…

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

  385. Amphiox says

    If every single person on the planet had an NDE every time their lives were remotely in danger, it would still mean absolutely nothing with regard to the question of non corporeal souls and afterlives.

    The neurological, brain-based explanation is still both more parsimonious and better supported by evidence.

    The scruffy makes a big deal about how natural brain phenomena have not reproduced the entire exact NDE. This is a completely dishonest argument that also misses the point. Each time we identify a natural cause for ANY ONE element of NDE, we have one more piece of evidence that NDEs can be caused by a combination of natural factors acting in unison. And we have already found natural explanations for almost every single individual feature of NDEs. The evidence available for souls as the cause, on the other hand, is ZERO.

  386. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How do I discover the truth when no convincing evidence has been found to indicate whether or not a creator exists or does not exist?

    It doesn’t exist without conclusive physical evidence, and you have none. Ergo, your creator is imaginary. QED.

    Your fuckwitted presupposition that a creator is necessary won’t let you see the truth. We here recognize that. You are too dumb to see that truth.

  387. Amphiox says

    And when we found something Newton couldn’t explain, we don’t default immediately to “god did it”.

    When Newton couldn’t explain why the planets were all orbiting on the same plane, Laplace did not throw up his hands and say “it must be god”, he went looking for a natural explanation, and found one.

    When astronomers found that the orbit of Saturn deviated from what Newton predicted, they didn’t resort to god, they went looking for other planets whose gravity could affect Saturn’s orbit, and they found Uranus and Neptune. When they found the orbit of Mercury deviating and couldn’t find another planet to account for this, they didn’t immediately assume some creator pushing the planet around, they looked for a natural explanation and found that Relativity worked.

    Invoking a creator is intellectual laziness and dishonesty. All you’re doing is changing “I don’t know” to “Creator did it” and refusing to do the hard work needed to actually solve the problem for real. Creators explain nothing.

    The only times it is valid to consider intelligent creators is 1) you are specifically looking directly for an intelligence, and not trying to invoke intelligence as a cause for something else (example is SETI) and 2) you already have independent, unrelated evidence that an intelligent agent capable of producing the phenomenon you are trying to explain already exists (examples would be forensics and archeology)

  388. mikmik says

    Scifi, you want The Truth™ wrapped up in 100% certainty where there is absolute scientific/physical conclusion, PLUS irrefutable logic, PLUS pre-packaged iron-clad answers for every lunatic irrational hallucination of a delusional flowerchild there may be on earth!
    There are always fruitcake guesses and complete insanity induced babblings and suppositions from countless hoaxers and even well meaning naivete’s that don’t realize how utterly irrational their ideas/observations/wishes are.
    As with the case about trying to prove a negative, it can be impossible to preconceive all the bizarre misinterpretations some human minds, somewhere, will conceive, and it comes down to, sooner or lster, a basic standard of education and understanding of how the world works.

    An analogy: If you’re playing poker with one 52 card deck, and you lay down 4 Aces + a 3, say. and reach to collect the pot, “Hold on a minute there, pardner” says your buddy, and lays down a hand and says, “Five little ladies” showing 5 Queens, you don’t concede that 5 of a kind always beats 4 and he wins, and then put up a website about an amazing thing that happened playing poker, then a bunch of other destitute suckers comment in and say, “Yes, it’s true, it happened to me! Does anyone know of a nice bench to sleep under tonight?”

    No! You understand that a deck of cards only has four of each value card, and that the fifth Queen (of Circles, or something) in the deck was indication of that person cheating!

    You don’t, now, go around wondering if some decks of cards have 5 queens in them, or some decks have five suits, hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades, and yellow circles, do you. Then you don’t go around telling everyone that you saw one, and heard of other people report sightings of 5 queens beating 4 aces, and next thing you know someone is saying it happened on world series of poker stars last night, FFS!

    That is what you sound like to people that understand the parts and rules of science and nature. People are always laying full houses of 3 wishes over a pair of ‘a guy who knew about his daughter should have been dead but lived and saw visions’ on our four of a kinds. (Observation, hypothesis, verification, theory).

    It’s time to learn the game of ‘How to tell what’s Real’©

    Read stuff, maybe this: “So where is the soul hiding? Area after area of the brain has yielded up its secrets to the probing of neuroscience, and not a trace of it has been found. The more our knowledge advances, the less reason we have to suppose that it exists, and the less sustainable the dualist position becomes. All the evidence we currently possess suggests that there is nothing inside our skulls that does not obey the ordinary laws of physics.”
    A Ghost in the Machine
    The existence of the soul

    And, try to listen to other people than mikmik, he induces catatonia.

  389. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Syfy is just so mushy, I cannot scrape it off of my shoes.

  390. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Syfy is just so mushy, I cannot scrape it off of my shoes.

    Seven-day-old grog does the job. Ask for Penny Pullet, she will see you get some.

  391. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Nerd, should I be afraid of what else can be removed by seven-day-old grog?

  392. theophontes 777 says

    @ Menyambal

    (And please hurry—I could use a sandwich.)

    You are doing it wrong: There-is-a-XKCD-for-that ™

    @ scifi

    There appears to be a lot more people who have experienced NDEs than a ‘few’.

    A lot of people have really crazy, realistic dreams. They can describe them in detail. There are books about these dreams. They even have a web site where people with these experiences can describe their experiences and answer numerous questions.

    That does not mean that the weirdness people dream up has any bearing on reality.

    How do I discover the truth when no convincing evidence has been found to indicate whether or not a creator exists or does not exist?

    We have answered this in full. Have you read the link to the null hypothesis? Where are you having problems understanding it? If you do not understand it, ask questions. But repeating your ignorance ad nauseum is not helping you nor us.

    [Krauss] admits to not having proof.

    Krauss understands the null hypothesis. You, clearly, do not understand Krauss.

    @ rajkumar

    People have been saying I will get banned if I come back.

    IIRC, You are restricted to posting on the TZT thread.

    You can tell them I’ll be much more lenient on commenters here — jerkishness that would get a ban elsewhere I’ll tolerate a little more. Not infinitely more, but I’ll cut some slack on assholes here.

    Linky. (I would not push my luck too far though. Bringing up your sexist bullshit will likely get you banned even here.)

    Explaining to scifi why xe is fractally wrong will endear you greatly here.

    @ Ichthyic

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge

    Check out:

    Ignorance aint what you don’t know. Ignorance is what you know that aint so. – Mark Twain

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. – Bertrand Russell

    The wise are doubtful – Socrates

    The most appropriate quote for scifi? Tacitus description of Laco:

    hostile to any suggestion, however wise, that was not his own, and extremely obstinate with men who knew more than him.

    (aside: only the men – such where the times.)

  393. Ichthyic says

    a gin and tonic would go down wonderfully about now.

    Got any Bombay Blue?

  394. chigau (副) says

    Got any Bombay Blue?

    Sorry. Gordon’s only.
    I do have some home-made garlic butter and home-made bread sticks.

  395. theophontes 777 says

    Welcome Jason! (Your cookies have been sent to your USB port.)