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Evidence vs. no evidence.

Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by Gunhaver, Jul 16, 2012.


  1. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver
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    the wrong hands

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    I'm pretty surprised (well, not really) at the mental gymnastics that some people will go through to maintain that god or no god, both are equally valid propositions because neither can be proven with any certainty.

    So here's a thought experiment I came up with as an analogy. Imagine you're a police officer driving over an overpass and you see two guys walk under the bridge. You're bored and convince yourself that it looks suspicious so you turn around and head back to investigate. When you get under the bridge you see one guy dead on the ground next to a pipe with his skull cracked and the other standing there with blood splatter on his clothes. The guy claims that he was just holding the pipe and it magically flew out of his hand and bashed the other guy in the head.

    Now in court you become the atheist in the debate and he the theist. He's making the claim that you have to accept the possibility that something magical that you've never seen before happened because you can't prove otherwise and he also has a lot to lose if you refuse this claim. You just want the court to examine the evidence that was collected by forensics, the blood splatter on his clothes, his fingerprints on the pipe, his blood on the victim (which he refuses to acknowledge or claims is fabricated conspiracy evidence) indicating a struggle. All of this evidence is not conclusive proof of his guilt. There's a slight chance that he could be telling the truth about the magic flying pipe but do we give equal credence to his version of events because we don't have a video of him committing the murder?
     

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    #1 Gunhaver, Jul 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  2. Ramjet38

    Ramjet38
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    SONS OF LIBERTY

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    Imagine you are dead. Imagine that one day you suddenly are awaken from your tomb beneath the ground. Imagine that you are looking around and others are standing there with you looking upwards. A Great Light shines down from the Heavens and you wonder what this could be. You suddenly remember that you died after suffering in a hospital bed for so long a time. "What is happening". You say to yourself. "This can't be"!

    We can imagine all day long, but you'll never know for sure...will ya?
     

  3. High-Gear

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    That was about the worst non-rebuttal I have ever read!
     
  4. Japle

    Japle
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    John, Viera, Fl

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    The mental gymnastics are necessary because some people are either incapable of critical thinking or they’re so invested in their religion that they’re emotionally unable to accept any facts that contradict it.

    Their ability to deliberately misunderstand the scientific method (and the evidence it has produced), while using a computer that wouldn’t exist without that method never ceases to amaze me.
     
  5. Snapper2

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    Or they feel like they've wasted a lot of that invested time and are trying to make up for it by not allowing others to have their own opinion. It can go both ways.We are free to believe as we wish...... So far.
     
  6. Tilley

    Tilley
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    Man of Steel

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    Imagine Gunhaver is very sick and eventually dies. The next thing Gunhaver sees is waking up and being greeted by Adolf Hitler, Sadam Hussein and Barach Obama...:shocked:





    Yeah...makes ya think, huh?
     
  7. High-Gear

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    Snapper, you find any of that evidence yet? Oh, too busy trying to be witty, eh? Stop! You stink at it.

    And really, why do you include your president in that list?
     
  8. Lone Wolf8634

    Lone Wolf8634
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    :):

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    Imagine Tilley actually posted something useful in a thread, besides half witticisms.

    A man can dream.....
     
  9. Snapper2

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    The evidence I see is ......why tell another about the God you believe in? 1)out of love 2) out a need to be right 3) working your way to "heaven"... separate motives. ........why tell another there is no God? 1)a bad past experience with religion 2)for some reason you WANT to prove there is no God 3)you have nothing better to do so instead of using your great scientific mind and all this knowledge to better society you instead try to change others opinion to believe like you and allow them to make the scientific discoveries.....either way you cut it all it adds up to is arguments and name calling that waste time.
     
  10. Ramjet38

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    SONS OF LIBERTY

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    Thanks everyone. I would've been very disappointed in receiving anything else. Hope that someday you get to reflect on your stance and change.

    If you think mankind and science has the answers to the universe...it's a very dangerous position to take.
     
  11. jakebrake

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    cracker

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    only evidence i have, is my wife and daughter, and my sobriety...

    tears streaming down my face, i know there is a God, and, for some reason, he still loves me.
     
  12. Sarge1400

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    So you, or the devil, or some other such thing at one point caused you to lose your sobriety, and god helped you find it?

    How do you know it wasn't the other way around?

    Though I am glad you are sober, and have your wife and daughter, your argument is hardly compelling.
     
  13. jakebrake

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    cracker

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    when the only tool you have to fight anymore is prayer? you'll understand.
     
  14. High-Gear

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    I'm happy for you, truly I am. I'm also happy you found the strength to make a positive change, but don't sell yourself short...you made it happen! Congrats!
     
  15. Sarge1400

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    BTDT. Then I figured out that getting off my ass and taking care of it myself would probably be more productive. And it was.

    You beat the addiction yourself, and needn't feel guilty about that. Give yourself some credit.
     
  16. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver
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    the wrong hands

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    God helps those that help themselves. Translation: Get off your ass and take care of it yourself and then give god all the credit.
     
  17. Snapper2

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    What would you consider to be evidence then? Stay on your ass and God takes care of it? If not, blame Him or better yet claim He doesnt exist. Sometimes when searching for what we think are the most valuable things in life we dont see them until they are taken away.If evidence is your jewel then go for it But if youre taking full credit dont blame something you dont believe in for your experience. Why not let each seek his own?
     
  18. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver
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    the wrong hands

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    Oh, I don't know, maybe people who pray to god for good luck or help having good fortune or coming through hard times at a highly disproportionate rate to those that don't? That would be convincing.
    Sure. That would work too. If members of a particular religion never seemed to do anything but they were all fat, rich and happy then I'd call that very compelling evidence. Doesn't seem to be the case.
    Now why would I blame something I don't believe in for anything? What's going on here is that people have good times and rough spots and each more of one or the other. The only difference is that there are those that very selectively give their god credit wherever it makes them feel most comfortable. It's like that guy crawling out of the 20 car pileup with only a few broken ribs proclaiming that god protected him while ignoring the numerous dead and injured around him.
     
  19. Snapper2

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    Say for example I have been neglecting my family and it leads into a gambling addiction that cost me my family. I realize then what I've lost and get help:whistling:. Did the addiction save me from myself and whats important?Do I credit myself for losing and finding whats important? It sounds like the gambling addiction that I was powerless to saved my marriage by hitting rock bottom.
     
  20. Geko45

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    Smartass Pilot
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    What Gunhaver is touching on is the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning. As much as we might like to think that what we know is certainly, nearly everything we think we know beyond a doubt is actually derived from inductive reasoning.

    Deductive reasoning essentially means absolute proof, whereas inductive reasoning is always non-conclusive. An example of deductive reasoning would be "2+2=4". An example of inductive reasoning would be finding Gunhaver's fictional suspect guilty because all of the circumstantial evidence points to him.

    This relative strength of assessing one position against another through inductive logic is something we put in practice a thousand times a day. We have to because we almost never have all the facts necessary to make deductive conclusions. It's usually of no real concern because the human mind is fairly skilled at picking out salient information and discarding background noise.

    But then you have this topic of religion where the whole system breaks down. A myth gets put forth that is fairly enticing and suddenly we through all of higher brain powers out the window in exchange for a form of denial that let's us believe we won't really die. The human psyche conning itself if you will.

    So, a majority of us (still can't wrap my mind around that) choose to be believe a fantastic tale of a kindly old grandfather figure who only wants to take care of us rather accept the overwhelming evidence that we are truly mortal and will cease to exist upon death.