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  1. #61
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    No, it's not like that. I am not really arguing that God exists. I am arguing that atheists should, by their own standards (normally those of empiricism/Bayesianism), consider the existence of God as more supported by the evidence every time they observe something new that is not God. It's really an argument about epistemology.
    1) This statement only has meaning if there is a generally accepted, coherent definition of the word "God" and if all atheists were atheists were because of empiricism/Bayesianism
    2) Why would I have to conclude that there is a god if I observe something new as opposed to...say....any other number of possibilities?
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Whatever you want: it hardly matters because the argument is mostly formal. That's why I used meaningless symbols to begin with. The argument can then have general application regardless of what "qualifies as evidence."

    No need to be so concrete. What are you, an SJ?
    It does matter to me. Regardless of where you're going with this discussion, my mind is somewhere else trying apply your formulas according to Atheist standards to see what I get. Which is my first step to a total redesign and possible takeover of the Atheist organization. :x

  3. #63
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    1) This statement only has meaning if there is a generally accepted, coherent definition of the word "God" and if all atheists were atheists were because of empiricism/Bayesianism
    The statement has meaning because it says something in the English language and other English speakers, like you, understand it well-enough to critique. A statement is not meaningless just because it could have been expressed more precisely. In fact, it hardly matters how "God" is defined in the context of this argument, so long as the concept of God is not incoherent and God can manifest in an some observable form. Technically, "God" could be defined as a talking hamster and the argument would still be valid, though I had in mind something more traditional.

    Most atheists, I think, are, at least, closet empiricists and would be Bayesianists too if they pursued matters further.

    2) Why would I have to conclude that there is a god if I observe something new as opposed to...say....any other number of possibilities?
    You wound't have to do anything. The point is that every observation of something that is not God increases the evidential support for the proposition that God exists (even though the probability falls as expected). That doesn't mean, necessarily, that God's existence is more probable than His non-existence, but merely that one probability has increased relative to the other.

    More to the point, this argument works for pretty much anything. God is just an amusing example.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  4. #64
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    If the number of things in existence is infinite, isn't that moot?
    Not with a subjective interpretation of probability.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  5. #65
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Positive and negative atheists, agnostics with atheist leaning, skeptics, etc. I've got a message for the whole lot of ya:




    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  6. #66
    Senior Member Xyk's Avatar
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    By the same logic, we can also conclude that every single fictional thing is probably true. See Russell's Teapot.
    MBTI: INTP (PNIT if you wanna put it in order of strength.)
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    Also, credit for my new avatar goes to this person. I found it on the google.

  7. #67
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Positive and negative atheists, agnostics with atheist leaning, skeptics, etc. I've got a message for the whole lot of ya:




    No thanks. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  8. #68
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    No thanks. :P
    Goed dat je niet in Amerika woont!
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  9. #69
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Goed dat je niet in Amerika woont!
    AAAH! Don't scare me like that. When did you turn dutch anyway.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  10. #70
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Ha ha ha. Nej, ik ben Duits.

    But I thought I'd make a little extra effort for you. I do think the sociocultural context in the US is different to ours over here, that's all.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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