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Old 14th Mar 2017, 12:36   #41
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If you are being scientific about it, you assume that something has no factual basis until it cannot be disproved.

Of course the theory of an afterlife does not conform to the scientific principle of falsifiability, since (like God) there is no way to prove or disprove its existence.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 12:38   #42
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Originally Posted by Darkwisdom View Post
That's an ignorant argument. You shouldn't assume something to be true just because there is no evidence for it to be false.
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That's not what it says. It says you shouldn't assume something to be false until there is evidence that it is false.
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I assume something has no factual basis until there is proof for it. My problem with belief in the afterlife, is that people are assuming it's true until proven otherwise. It basically unprovable, so it shouldn't exist in either column.
If you want to get into Philosophy - what is truth?
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 12:47   #43
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That's an ignorant argument. You shouldn't assume something to be true just because there is no evidence for it to be false.
A misunderstanding perhaps?

If anything it's ignorant to assume that a proposition is true, in this case that a 'God' and an 'Afterlife' do not exist because it has not yet been proved false, in other words without evidence it's impossible to either prove or disprove the existence of something.

It's why i describe myself as agnostic as i neither believe nor disbelieve in the existence of a 'God' as IMO there's no evidence to support any conclusion.

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Old 14th Mar 2017, 13:31   #44
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In science if something cannot be disproved and there is no evidence for it it is assumed false (or more accurately just "false") until such a time evidence is discovered (in favour or against). Apply the same reasoning as agnosticism across the board and it is utterly crippling. Russell's teapot and all that.

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Old 14th Mar 2017, 13:46   #45
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Unless I'm misunderstand that can't be true otherwise how do you explain the search for theoretical phenomenon like the higgs boson, black holes, etc, etc, if something can't be disproved and there's no evidence for it we'd never investigate the unknown or theories.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 13:53   #46
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Unless I'm misunderstand that can't be true otherwise how do you explain the search for theoretical phenomenon like the higgs boson, black holes, etc, etc, if something can't be disproved and there's no evidence for it we'd never investigate the unknown or theories.
If you can investigate something it is by extension considered possible to disprove.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 15:52   #47
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Of course the theory of an afterlife does not conform to the scientific principle of falsifiability, since (like God) there is no way to prove or disprove its existence.
That's basically the way I see it. It is a theory that can never effectively be studied, so it annoyingly comes back to "Well, you can't disprove it, can you?"

Sigh.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 16:51   #48
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Every attempt at an answer so far, no matter how fancy the terminology, is basically "God did it!".
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 17:20   #49
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We get rid of god one discovery at a time.

God only exists in spaces, were we have not accumulated enough knowledge yet to explain it in natural terms.

With that in mind I'm convinced that we'll get to a point were we'll know everything there is to know, but one thing... what was before the big bang. We simply can't find an answer to that question, as it's beyond the event horizon. And that alone will allways be enough for those nutjobs to claim that god did it.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 17:34   #50
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Nah. What are fundamental particles made of? What are those things that make up particles made of? We don't know and it's entirely possible never will because we only evolved to interpret information at this scale on this rock. Even just one level down it's mind-bending and intuition goes out the window. We're just homo arrogantus.

As the circle of our knowledge increases so does the circumference of our ignorance
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 18:00   #51
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If you can investigate something it is by extension considered possible to disprove.
Yes but by extension if you can't investigate something it's not possible to disprove.

Take the higgs boson for example, the Higgs mechanism was proposed back in 1964 but it wasn't proven to exist until 2012, the fact we didn't have the technology to investigate it for half a century meant we could neither prove or disprove it's existence.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 18:13   #52
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Yes but by extension if you can't investigate something it's not possible to disprove.

Take the higgs boson for example, the Higgs mechanism was proposed back in 1964 but it wasn't proven to exist until 2012, the fact we didn't have the technology to investigate it for half a century meant we could neither prove or disprove it's existence.
There's a difference between a mathematical consequence of known proofs and the entirely unempirical anthropomorphisation of creation. (I listen to hip hop)
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 18:27   #53
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“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

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Old 14th Mar 2017, 18:34   #54
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Yes but by extension if you can't investigate something it's not possible to disprove.

Take the higgs boson for example, the Higgs mechanism was proposed back in 1964 but it wasn't proven to exist until 2012, the fact we didn't have the technology to investigate it for half a century meant we could neither prove or disprove it's existence.
We did have a theoretical idea of the physical nature of the hypothesis that fitted into existing models and the method/technology to test it, while unavailable at the time, was at least plausible

"If we could somehow break up the atoms and have a look inside we could check if they are actually there" is horribly simplistic and grossly inaccurate of what they thought in the 60s (particle accelerators already existed then), but as far as I know it's still a damn sight stronger and more plausible line of investigation than anyone has ever come up with regarding proving (or more importantly, disproving) the existence of God/afterlife/etc.

I have no problem with agnosticism per se but it is incorrect to state that it is a position that results from following a scientific method/rationale.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 18:49   #55
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We did have a theoretical idea of the physical nature of the hypothesis that fitted into existing models and the method/technology to test it, while unavailable at the time, was at least plausible
So does that mean before we had that theoretical idea it didn't exist?

Not being factitious when i ask that but it does seem strange (to me) that someone can claim something either does or doesn't exist based on no evidence whatsoever, the higgs was probably a bad example as the moment the hypothesis was thought of there was evidence to indicate it could exist and as such we were no longer ignorant of that fact.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 18:55   #56
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Not being factitious when i ask that but it does seem strange (to me) that someone can claim something either does or doesn't exist based on no evidence whatsoever.
But the proposed existence of the Higgs field (and the boson) wasn't based on no evidence at all. The Higgs mechanism was proposed to fill in a gap in what we knew about particle physics and it provided the ability to predict results and particles that we could experimentally test long before we were able to directly test for the Higgs boson. So, while we couldn't 100% guarantee the Higgs boson existed until recently we could say with an increasing level of confidence that it was likely to exist as more and more experimental data about other particles was obtained. And, on the flipside, had the results predicted by the Higgs mechanism not matched up with experimental data then we could have said with increasing confidence that the Higgs boson was probably unlikely to exist.

When I was younger I did tell people I was agnostic, but the more I thought about it I just don't see it as a sensible position to take. It is the ultimate sitting on the fence approach. Do I have evidence that directly proves or disproves God? No. But there is plenty of evidence that demonstrates that a supernatural deity is not necessary for what we observe around us. And everyday we make further insights that mean that we don't have to put explanations down to 'God did it'. Now I do accept that 'god' may have set the universe in motion before the big bang and then taken no further part, or interferes in such a way that it's impossible to tell from entirely natural mechanisms; however, in either of those cases, is the existence of 'god' any different from non-existence? In short, I don't hold a belief that 'god' exists, rather than have a belief that he/she/it doesn't.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 19:17   #57
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Exactly there was evidence to support the theory but like i said before that evidence did it not exist?

Concerning your second paragraph I'd refer you back to my reply to goldstar where he proposed we're a random set of variables and i asked if that's true then who or what defined those variables?
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 19:34   #58
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Exactly there was evidence to support the theory but like i said before that evidence did it not exist?
Yes, it existed. But I would argue that the evidence for it's existence has always been there as well. The only issue was our ability to comprehend/understand it. And yes, you could say that may be the case for evidence of 'god', but at what point do you sit back and wonder why 'god', if he existed, would hide it so well?

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Concerning your second paragraph I'd refer you back to my reply to goldstar where he proposed we're a random set of variables and i asked if that's true then who or what defined those variables?
That's a good question. Was it a higher power/intelligence? Perhaps. Does it have to have been anything at all? I guess that depends on where you fall on the question of 'is randomness a thing'. Or maybe it's a quirk of quantum mechanics and there's multiple concurrent universes in which every possible variable plays out?

In any case, it doesn't alter that there's a preponderance of evidence that points towards the lack of a need for a supernatural deity to explain the mechanisms, processes, content etc. of the universe around us, and no evidence to the contrary. Until that alters I'm happy to continue with my lack of belief in 'god'. For me, it's no different than my lack of belief in the vast number of mythological creatures that humankind has written about through the ages.

Out of curiosity tho, does your agnostic view extend to other supernatural deities or is it limited to the Judaeo-Christian God? Where do you stand on the existence of the Greek Pantheon for example? Or things like dragons, faeries, goblins, leprechauns etc?
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 19:40   #59
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Exactly there was evidence to support the theory but like i said before that evidence did it not exist?
It's just practical not to bother with any hypothesis that has zero evidence supporting or disproving it. There's just no point in wasting synapses on untestable notions about the universe - So why bother? That's why, for all intents and purposes, I can call myself an atheist...just like I'm an a-unicornist, a-fairyist, and a-bigfootist.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 19:46   #60
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...but at what point do you sit back and wonder why 'god', if he existed, would hide it so well?
Because the point would be to believe in Him, which would not be the same at all as knowing the guy.
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