I actually have more respect for this kind of "argument" than for when Christians (or people of other faiths) try to present their beliefs as logical. I understand and accept that not everything is governed by logic, but if someone is going to claim their position is logical, it has to stand up to that style of scrutiny.
I think the problem is that both arguments (having proof v. needing proof) are solid arguments. Neither side can really refute the other side's claim. So there isn't much point in debate unless you have an individual who has decided that they need or do not need proof of a deity's existence. Otherwise, you eventually settle at an impasse.
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness." ― Kurt Vonnegut
In the case of the existence of a "God particle," which is an entity that can only be detected indirectly, even necessary evidence is not good enough. Why? Because it depends on the validity of the QM model being used. It is necessary only within that model.
I never said evidence that must be present if a thing exists was good enough for anything; I said that the absence of such evidence disproves the thing's existence. I'm not sure if this was clear or not.
I'm sure there are explanations, however implausible some of them might be, that would rationalize every conceivable lack of evidence for the God particle. The fact that you're using the God particle as an illustration suggests to me that I didn't make my meaning sufficiently clear when I spoke of evidence that will be present if a thing exists. When I spoke of evidence that will be present if a thing exists, I meant evidence whose absence irreconcilably contradicts the thing's existence. A lack of a signal for the God particle does not fall into this category, because a lack of a signal for the God particle can be explained as a failure of equipment, a lie, a fluke, etc. The only way that a lack of a signal for the God particle could disprove the particle's existence is if the God particle were said to force itself, by its very nature, to be revealed by such equipment under such circumstances. Where a thing's definition indicates that the thing must reveal itself and the thing fails to reveal itself, the thing's existence has been disproved by a lack of evidence; where a thing's definition does not indicate it must reveal itself, a thing is in no danger of being ruled out.
If you change the definition of the thing whose existence you're positing, you're no longer positing the same existence. A God particle with one definition is a different God particle than one with another definition. Doing this doesn't allow you to prove that a thing exists if it has been established that it does not exist.
Originally Posted by Mal+
What if, instead of talking about a God particle, we were talking about God? Isn't a person investigating this issue still employing only a model of a possible reality, yet one whose existence is dependent upon postulates necessitated by the system itself? Those postulates determine the evidence necessary to validate the postulates, and the method one uses to validate them.
In the case of the God particle, the postulates at the basis of the model (the system) determine what that particle must "look" like (at least in concept or mathematically), what evidence is necessary to determine its probable existence, and how this evidence is to be gathered.
In the case of God, the postulates at the basis of the theological model determine what God must "look" like.
For the most part I agree with this part of your post and find it to be compatible with what I said earlier in this topic.
[ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]