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"I just believe in one fewer god than you do"

mbig

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"I contend that we are Both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do.
When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"

- Stephen Roberts

This is the tunnel vision of theists. That in fact they reject every [other] god We created except the one they worship. They aren't just theists, they are in fact exclusivo-theists and reject every other god. Yes there are some minor exceptions.

Can I prove there's no god? Of course not. And you can't prove I'm not god. Ho hum. Let's dispense with that Idiocy.
Of course, in the "Dear Atheists" string the theists are all implicitly/inately arguing/defending Their Abrahamic God (and even then most only the Christian flavor) and themselves reject all the other gods.

We can see there have been countless peoples Creating countless gods throughout history.
So what are the Odds the god you believe in not only exists (as there is no evidence), but is the right/only one?
The course of human history is apparent.

Why not Vishnu or the creation Myth of American Northwest Indians? Baal?
When you [theists] argue for 'God' in the "Dear Atheists" string let's not forget almost all of you are arguing for Only ONE/Your god, not just theism.

When you're willing to accept the aformentioned astrology or alchemy, (true theists) I'll accept the literal Young Earth Creationism.
Strike that!!!!! as Alchemy has a much better shot than YEC as no doubt we Will be able to create gold in any of several ways.
 
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CaptainCourtesy

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You entire argument is based on a false premise. No one cares whether you accept the belief in God nor is trying to convince you of it. Further, show where people are arguing defending Abrahamic God in that thread. Again, you are making a false assumption. All people are doing in that thread is demonstrating the lack of logic in the argumentation of the atheist side of the argument. At least that's all I'm doing. Just demonstrating that the atheists' attempt at moral or intellectual superiority falls short and is neither. Perhaps you should check and see what the argument is about before you make inaccurate assumptions.
 

MKULTRABOY

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Well, firstly I see the adoption of the one true god as a natural evolution, from idol worship of minor gods borne in human ignorance to an embrace of the greater nature of the universe. As far as Im concerned the 'god' that transmitted the Qu'ran or Old Testament is the same that informed the Buddha of the fundamental unit of matter we call the atom, and lots of other 'transmissions' I essentially hock up to spiritual space waves.

Quite bitter of you.
 

mbig

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You entire argument is based on a false premise. No one cares whether you accept the belief in God nor is trying to convince you of it. Further, show where people are arguing defending Abrahamic God in that thread.
1. I said "Implicitly/Inately". That's who/what they are thinking when they are posting. Miss Boop wants a pass for HER god, Not allah, Not Vishnu, nor Tarot.
Again you go for the cheap points with No understanding.

2. The string is not based on a false premise. It is meant to give self-stated theists some perspective of their true position.
Hopefully some will get it despite your snuff attempt.


Again, you are making a false assumption. All people are doing in that thread is demonstrating the lack of logic in the argumentation of the atheist side of the argument. At least that's all I'm doing.
Yes, you're sniping those who made the error of "no god" instead of "baseless god."

But the issue is, as in the C Gerstle post I have quoted several times... The atheist side doesn't have a burden of proof for no/Lack of belief.
You were only able to pick off those who made a semantic mistake or took it a bit too far.


Just demonstrating that the atheists' attempt at moral or intellectual superiority falls short and is neither. Perhaps you should check and see what the argument is about before you make inaccurate assumptions.
On the contrary.
The least tolerant people in this country/world are religous literalists.
Check the news.

And get your facts straight.
The debate was about how and whether an atheist on a message board responds to, ie, a religionist's claim of YEC with a counterargument.
None of which was affected by your Cheap picking off of those atheists who said 'no god' instead of 'baseless god'.
Which is what I adressed in this string.
OF COURSE no one can prove there's no god!
And now that I've stated it here....
We don't need you to say that, and basically only that, 100 times in a thread.

For that alone this string was worth it.
 
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Redress

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But the issue is, as in the C Gerstle post I have quoted several times... The atheist side doesn't have a burden of proof for no/Lack of belief.
You were only able to pick off those who made a semantic mistake or took it a bit too far.
Neither side has a burden of proof, since both are inherently unprovable.
 

Agent Ferris

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Neither side has a burden of proof, since both are inherently unprovable.
Bull**** the burden of proof is on the person making the positive statement that lacks falsifiability.

All evidence indicates that there is no god just as all evidence indicates that there is no invisible heatless fire breathing dragon living in my garage. All known forms of direct and indirect observation have failed to provide one scrap of evidence for this god thus the evidence indicates that it does not exist and until you provide evidence to the contrary the logical default position is that it doesn't.

I suggest you read Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World.
 
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mbig

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Neither side has a burden of proof, since both are inherently unprovable.
Lack of belief has NO burden.
All that Extra explanation Just for you... wasted.
mind-blowing.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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1. I said "Implicitly/Inately". That's who/what they are thinking when they are posting. Miss Boop wants a pass for HER god, Not allah, Not Vishnu, nor Tarot.
Again you go for the cheap points with No understanding.
Stop trying to mind read. You're really bad at it. You do not get to tell someone what they are thinking or how they are posting. This is again a false premise on your part. All you are doing is making illogical false assumptions wiith nothing to back them. The cheap points are easy when all you present are things that lack logic.

2. The string is not based on a false premise. It is meant to give self-stated theists some perspective of their true position.
Hopefully some will get it despite your snuff attempt.
You just demonstrated how it is based on a false premise. You do not get to define what anyone else's perspective is. You are digging yourself deeper and deeper in this false premise hole you've fallen into.



Yes, you're sniping those who made the error of "no god" instead of "baseless god."
Try UNproven. It's the accurate response.

But the issue is, as in the C Gerstle post I have quoted several times... The atheist side doesn't have a burden of proof for no/Lack of belief.
You were only able to pick off those who made a semantic mistake or took it a bit too far.
You are incorrect as is C. Gerstle. And I already discussed this in the other thread. The atheist side has an asymmetrical burden of proof, and unless they meet that burden of proof, their position is nothing but UNproven. Further, dismissing the theist position and claiming a lack of God's existence because of a lack of evidence is an appeal to ignorance logical fallacy. So, you lose either way.

On the contrary.
The least tolerant people in this country/world are religous literalists.
Check the news.
Another straw man. Seems to be all you do. Point out where I made an argument to the contrary or that addresses this issue at all.

And get your facts straight.
The debate was about how and whether an atheist on a message board responds to, ie, a religionist's claim of YEC with a counterargument.
None of which was affected by your Cheap picking off of those atheists who said 'no god' instead of 'baseless god'.
Which is what I adressed in this string.
And guess what? This debate was about attacks made by atheists... which were then shown to have no logic. You only call them cheap because they render much of your arguing impotent.

OF COURSE no one can prove there's no god!
And now that I've stated it here....
We don't need you to say that, and basically only that, 100 times in a thread.

For that alone this string was worth it.
I hope it was. Considering that there was nothing else that you posted that had any accuracy to it.
 

Redress

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Bull**** the burden of proof is on the person making the positive statement that lacks falsifiability.

All evidence indicates that there is no god just as all evidence indicates that there is no invisible heatless fire breathing dragon living in my garage. All known forms of direct and indirect observation have failed to provide one scrap of evidence for this god thus the evidence indicates that it does not exist and until you provide evidence that it does exist the logical default position is that it doesn't.

I suggest you read Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World.
Why do you see religion and atheism as in competition? I am an atheist and have no competition with religion.

Your hysteria did not make a point. Show me how you can prove atheism. Feel free.
 

Redress

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Lack of belief has NO burden.
All that Extra explanation Just for you... wasted.
mind-blowing.
Faith has no burden.
All that logic...wasted.
mind-blowing.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Bull**** the burden of proof is on the person making the positive statement that lacks falsifiability.

All evidence indicates that there is no god just as all evidence indicates that there is no invisible heatless fire breathing dragon living in my garage. All known forms of direct and indirect observation have failed to provide one scrap of evidence for this god thus the evidence indicates that it does not exist and until you provide evidence to the contrary the logical default position is that it doesn't.

I suggest you read Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World.
As stated to you and proven before. Of course there is a burden of proof on your side. An asymmetrical burden of proof. All your denials do is show your lack of logic in the appeal to ignorance logical fallacy. Now, I know you will yell and scream like you always do, but it doesn't change the fact that your lack of logic in this is quite startling.
 

mbig

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Stop trying to mind read. You're really bad at it. You do not get to tell someone what they are thinking or how they are posting. This is again a false premise on your part. All you are doing is making illogical false assumptions wiith nothing to back them. The cheap points are easy when all you present are things that lack logic.
How so?
No "mind reading" was needed. We have the theists other posts and doctrine already.
ooops.
You just demonstrated how it is based on a false premise. You do not get to define what anyone else's perspective is. You are digging yourself deeper and deeper in this false premise hole you've fallen into.
&**^&*^^&%&%
As I said... I hope it will indeed get some people to look at their beliefs.
That was the purpose.
It was not a 'false premise' but a true statment that will hopefully stir some stuck pots.

Try UNproven. It's the accurate response.
Fine!
AS long as we agree that's all you were doing.
Another bitsy semantic correction while the you can't address the meat.

You are incorrect as is C. Gerstle. And I already discussed this in the other thread. The atheist side has an asymmetrical burden of proof, and unless they meet that burden of proof, their position is nothing but UNproven. Further, dismissing the theist position and claiming a lack of God's existence because of a lack of evidence is an appeal to ignorance logical fallacy. So, you lose either way.
Lack of Belief doesn't require any "proof."
Golly. It's getting sad.
Astonishing, in fact.


And guess what? This debate was about attacks made by atheists... which were then shown to have no logic. You only call them cheap because they render much of your arguing impotent.
Yes. Thanks for admitting I was right as to the subject matter of "Dear Atheists".
It took a while tho.
I suggest you read #128 there, I made in good faith to my friend Reefedjib showing an atheist "attack"/aka counterargument can indeed not only have merit but have it overwhelmingly.
 
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MaggieD

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Ya'll might be interested in this essay -- "Thinking Tools: You Can Prove a Negative"

Either side of the argument works. If you prove one side is true, then the other side has been proven untrue. Most important sentence in this essay: But one thing is certain: if proving things requires that an infinite number of premises get proved first, we’re not going to prove much of anything at all, positive or negative.


Think summer 2005 • 109
THINKING TOOLS: YOU CAN PROVE A NEGATIVE
Steven D. Hales

A principle of folk logic is that one can’t prove a negative. Dr. Nelson L. Price, a Georgia minister, writes on his website that ‘one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative.’ Julian Noble, a physicist at the University of Virginia, agrees, writing in his ‘Electric Blanket of Doom’ talk that ‘we can’t prove a negative proposition.’ University of California at Berkeley Professor of Epidemiology Patricia Buffler asserts that ‘The reality is that we can never prove the negative, we can never prove the lack of effect, we can never prove that something is safe.’ A quick search on Google or Lexis-Nexis will give a mountain of similar examples.

But there is one big, fat problem with all this. Among professional logicians, guess how many think that you can’t prove a negative? That’s right: zero. Yes, Virginia, you can prove a negative, and it’s easy, too. For one thing, a real, actual law of logic is a negative, namely the law of non-contradiction. This law states that that a proposition cannot be both true and not true. Nothing is both true and false. Furthermore, you can prove this law. It can be formally derived from the empty set using provably valid rules of inference. (I’ll spare you the boring details). One of the laws of logic is a provable negative. Wait… this means we’ve just proven that it is not the case that one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative. So we’ve proven yet another negative! In fact, ‘you can’t prove a negative’ is a negative  so if you could prove it true, it wouldn’t be true! Uh-oh.

Not only that, but any claim can be expressed as a negative, thanks to the rule of double negation. This rule states that any proposition P is logically equivalent to not-not-P. So pick anything you think you can prove. Think you can prove your own existence? At least to your own satisfaction? Then, using the exact same reasoning, plus the little step of double negation, you can prove that you aren’t nonexistent. Congratulations, you’ve just proven a negative. The beautiful part is that you can do this trick with absolutely any proposition whatsoever. Prove P is true and you can prove that P is not false.

Some people seem to think that you can’t prove a specific sort of negative claim, namely that a thing does not exist. So it is impossible to prove that Santa Claus, unicorns, the Loch Ness Monster, God, pink elephants, WMD in Iraq, and Bigfoot don’t exist. Of course, this rather depends on what one has in mind by ‘prove.’ Can you construct a valid deductive argument with all true premises that yields the conclusion that there are no unicorns? Sure. Here’s one, using the valid inference procedure of modus tollens:

1. If unicorns had existed, then there is evidence in the fossil record.
2. There is no evidence of unicorns in the fossil record.
3. Therefore, unicorns never existed.

Someone might object that that was a bit too fast -- after all, I didn’t prove that the two premises were true. I just asserted that they were true. Well, that’s right. However, it would be a grievous mistake to insist that someone prove all the premises of any argument they might give. Here’s why. The only way to prove, say, that there is no evidence of unicorns in the fossil record, is by giving an argument to that conclusion. Of course one would then have to prove the premises of that argument by giving further arguments, and then prove the premises of those further arguments, ad infinitum. Which premises we should take on credit and which need payment up front is a matter of long and involved debate among epistemologists. But one thing is certain: if proving things requires that an infinite number of premises get proved first, we’re not going to prove much of anything at all, positive or negative.
Maybe people mean that no inductive argument will conclusively, indubitably prove a negative proposition beyond all shadow of a doubt. For example, suppose someone argues that we’ve scoured the world for Bigfoot, found no credible evidence of Bigfoot’s existence, and therefore there is no Bigfoot. A classic inductive argument. A Sasquatch defender can always rejoin that Bigfoot is reclusive, and might just be hiding in that next stand of trees. You can’t prove he’s not! (until the search of that tree stand comes up empty too). The problem here isn’t that inductive arguments won’t give us certainty about negative claims (like the nonexistence of Bigfoot), but that inductive arguments won’t give us certainty about anything at all, positive or negative. All observed swans are white, therefore all swans are white looked like a pretty good inductive argument until black swans were discovered in Australia.
The very nature of an inductive argument is to make a conclusion probable, but not certain, given the truth of the premises. That just what an inductive argument is. We’d better not dismiss induction because we’re not getting certainty out of it, though. Why do you think that the sun will rise tomorrow? Not because of observation (you can’t observe the future!), but because that’s what it has always done in the past. Why do you think that if you turn on the kitchen tap that water will come out instead of chocolate? Why do you think you’ll find your house where you last left it? Why do you think lunch will be nourishing instead of deadly? Again, because that’s the way things have always been in the past. In other words, we use inferences — induction — from past experiences in every aspect of our lives. As Bertrand Russell pointed out, the chicken who expects to be fed when he sees the farmer approaching, since that is what had always happened in the past, is in for a big surprise when instead of receiving dinner, he becomes dinner. But if the chicken had rejected inductive reasoning altogether, then every appearance of the farmer would be a surprise.

So why is it that people insist that you can’t prove a negative? I think it is the result of two things. (1) an acknowledgement that induction is not bulletproof, airtight, and infallible, and (2) a desperate desire to keep believing whatever one believes, even if all the evidence is against it. That’s why people keep believing in alien abductions, even when flying saucers always turn out to be weather balloons, stealth jets, comets, or too much alcohol. You can’t prove a negative! You can’t prove that there are no alien abductions! Meaning: your argument against aliens is inductive, therefore not incontrovertible, and since I want to believe in aliens, I’m going to dismiss the argument no matter how overwhelming the evidence against aliens, and no matter how vanishingly small the chance of extraterrestrial abduction.

If we’re going to dismiss inductive arguments because they produce conclusions that are probable but not definite, then we are in deep doo-doo. Despite its fallibility, induction is vital in every aspect of our lives, from the mundane to the most sophisticated science. Without induction we know basically nothing about the world apart from our own immediate perceptions. So we’d better keep induction, warts and all, and use it to form negative beliefs as well as positive ones. You can prove a negative — at least as much as you can prove anything at all. http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy/pages/content/hales/articlepdf/proveanegative.pdf
 
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Anarcho-fascist

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Faith has no burden.
All that logic...wasted.
mind-blowing.
Lack of belief has no burden because it isn't claiming that something is true or false.
Faith does have the burden of proof if it makes a claim that something is true or false.
 

Redress

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Lack of belief has no burden because it isn't claiming that something is true or false.
Faith does have the burden of proof if it makes a claim that something is true or false.
Wrong. Faith is saying that you believe something is true. You are not saying it is true, only that you believe it to be true.
 

iangb

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Wrong. Faith is saying that you believe something is true. You are not saying it is true, only that you believe it to be true.
...and as such (as I was saying earlier), 'faith' encompasses a lot more than just theism. You have faith in all sorts of things that you believe to be true, but cannot utterly prove.
 

Redress

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...and as such (as I was saying earlier), 'faith' encompasses a lot more than just theism. You have faith in all sorts of things that you believe to be true, but cannot utterly prove.
And then you can get into some interesting cans of worms.
 

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As stated to you and proven before. Of course there is a burden of proof on your side.
You are making a positive assertion which lacks falsifiability, the burden of proof is squarely on you.

You are making a claim which is inherently impossible to completely disprove, however, all known methods of direct and indirect empirical observation have failed to provide a single scrap of evidence for the claim that there is a god so the only logical default position is that it does not exist just as the logical default position is that an invisible dragon which breathes heatless and lives in my garage does not exist.

The Dragon In My Garage by Carl Sagan

Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so. The only thing you've really learned from my insistence that there's a dragon in my garage is that something funny is going on inside my head. You'd wonder, if no physical tests apply, what convinced me. The possibility that it was a dream or a hallucination would certainly enter your mind. But then, why am I taking it so seriously? Maybe I need help. At the least, maybe I've seriously underestimated human fallibility. Imagine that, despite none of the tests being successful, you wish to be scrupulously open-minded. So you don't outright reject the notion that there's a fire-breathing dragon in my garage. You merely put it on hold. Present evidence is strongly against it, but if a new body of data emerge you're prepared to examine it and see if it convinces you. Surely it's unfair of me to be offended at not being believed; or to criticize you for being stodgy and unimaginative -- merely because you rendered the Scottish verdict of "not proved."

Imagine that things had gone otherwise. The dragon is invisible, all right, but footprints are being made in the flour as you watch. Your infrared detector reads off-scale. The spray paint reveals a jagged crest bobbing in the air before you. No matter how skeptical you might have been about the existence of dragons -- to say nothing about invisible ones -- you must now acknowledge that there's something here, and that in a preliminary way it's consistent with an invisible, fire-breathing dragon.

Now another scenario: Suppose it's not just me. Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you're pretty sure don't know each other, all tell you that they have dragons in their garages -- but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive. All of us admit we're disturbed at being gripped by so odd a conviction so ill-supported by the physical evidence. None of us is a lunatic. We speculate about what it would mean if invisible dragons were really hiding out in garages all over the world, with us humans just catching on. I'd rather it not be true, I tell you. But maybe all those ancient European and Chinese myths about dragons weren't myths at all.

Gratifyingly, some dragon-size footprints in the flour are now reported. But they're never made when a skeptic is looking. An alternative explanation presents itself. On close examination it seems clear that the footprints could have been faked. Another dragon enthusiast shows up with a burnt finger and attributes it to a rare physical manifestation of the dragon's fiery breath. But again, other possibilities exist. We understand that there are other ways to burn fingers besides the breath of invisible dragons. Such "evidence" -- no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it -- is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.

An asymmetrical burden of proof. All your denials do is show your lack of logic in the appeal to ignorance logical fallacy. Now, I know you will yell and scream like you always do, but it doesn't change the fact that your lack of logic in this is quite startling.
All known direct and indirect methods of empirical observation have brought forth no evidence for the existence of god, that means that given all current knowledge we can safely assume that it does not exist until new evidence is brought forward.
.
 

digsbe

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How can one "lack" a belief in God? The burden of proof is upon both theists and atheists. Do I "lack" a belief in naturalism?
 

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Ya'll might be interested in this essay -- "Thinking Tools: You Can Prove a Negative"

Either side of the argument works. If you prove one side is true, then the other side has been proven untrue. Most important sentence in this essay: But one thing is certain: if proving things requires that an infinite number of premises get proved first, we’re not going to prove much of anything at all, positive or negative.


Think summer 2005 • 109
THINKING TOOLS: YOU CAN PROVE A NEGATIVE
Steven D. Hales

A principle of folk logic is that one can’t prove a negative. Dr. Nelson L. Price, a Georgia minister, writes on his website that ‘one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative.’ Julian Noble, a physicist at the University of Virginia, agrees, writing in his ‘Electric Blanket of Doom’ talk that ‘we can’t prove a negative proposition.’ University of California at Berkeley Professor of Epidemiology Patricia Buffler asserts that ‘The reality is that we can never prove the negative, we can never prove the lack of effect, we can never prove that something is safe.’ A quick search on Google or Lexis-Nexis will give a mountain of similar examples.

But there is one big, fat problem with all this. Among professional logicians, guess how many think that you can’t prove a negative? That’s right: zero. Yes, Virginia, you can prove a negative, and it’s easy, too. For one thing, a real, actual law of logic is a negative, namely the law of non-contradiction. This law states that that a proposition cannot be both true and not true. Nothing is both true and false. Furthermore, you can prove this law. It can be formally derived from the empty set using provably valid rules of inference. (I’ll spare you the boring details). One of the laws of logic is a provable negative. Wait… this means we’ve just proven that it is not the case that one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative. So we’ve proven yet another negative! In fact, ‘you can’t prove a negative’ is a negative  so if you could prove it true, it wouldn’t be true! Uh-oh.

Not only that, but any claim can be expressed as a negative, thanks to the rule of double negation. This rule states that any proposition P is logically equivalent to not-not-P. So pick anything you think you can prove. Think you can prove your own existence? At least to your own satisfaction? Then, using the exact same reasoning, plus the little step of double negation, you can prove that you aren’t nonexistent. Congratulations, you’ve just proven a negative. The beautiful part is that you can do this trick with absolutely any proposition whatsoever. Prove P is true and you can prove that P is not false.

Some people seem to think that you can’t prove a specific sort of negative claim, namely that a thing does not exist. So it is impossible to prove that Santa Claus, unicorns, the Loch Ness Monster, God, pink elephants, WMD in Iraq, and Bigfoot don’t exist. Of course, this rather depends on what one has in mind by ‘prove.’ Can you construct a valid deductive argument with all true premises that yields the conclusion that there are no unicorns? Sure. Here’s one, using the valid inference procedure of modus tollens:

1. If unicorns had existed, then there is evidence in the fossil record.
2. There is no evidence of unicorns in the fossil record.
3. Therefore, unicorns never existed.

Someone might object that that was a bit too fast -- after all, I didn’t prove that the two premises were true. I just asserted that they were true. Well, that’s right. However, it would be a grievous mistake to insist that someone prove all the premises of any argument they might give. Here’s why. The only way to prove, say, that there is no evidence of unicorns in the fossil record, is by giving an argument to that conclusion. Of course one would then have to prove the premises of that argument by giving further arguments, and then prove the premises of those further arguments, ad infinitum. Which premises we should take on credit and which need payment up front is a matter of long and involved debate among epistemologists. But one thing is certain: if proving things requires that an infinite number of premises get proved first, we’re not going to prove much of anything at all, positive or negative.
Maybe people mean that no inductive argument will conclusively, indubitably prove a negative proposition beyond all shadow of a doubt. For example, suppose someone argues that we’ve scoured the world for Bigfoot, found no credible evidence of Bigfoot’s existence, and therefore there is no Bigfoot. A classic inductive argument. A Sasquatch defender can always rejoin that Bigfoot is reclusive, and might just be hiding in that next stand of trees. You can’t prove he’s not! (until the search of that tree stand comes up empty too). The problem here isn’t that inductive arguments won’t give us certainty about negative claims (like the nonexistence of Bigfoot), but that inductive arguments won’t give us certainty about anything at all, positive or negative. All observed swans are white, therefore all swans are white looked like a pretty good inductive argument until black swans were discovered in Australia.
The very nature of an inductive argument is to make a conclusion probable, but not certain, given the truth of the premises. That just what an inductive argument is. We’d better not dismiss induction because we’re not getting certainty out of it, though. Why do you think that the sun will rise tomorrow? Not because of observation (you can’t observe the future!), but because that’s what it has always done in the past. Why do you think that if you turn on the kitchen tap that water will come out instead of chocolate? Why do you think you’ll find your house where you last left it? Why do you think lunch will be nourishing instead of deadly? Again, because that’s the way things have always been in the past. In other words, we use inferences — induction — from past experiences in every aspect of our lives. As Bertrand Russell pointed out, the chicken who expects to be fed when he sees the farmer approaching, since that is what had always happened in the past, is in for a big surprise when instead of receiving dinner, he becomes dinner. But if the chicken had rejected inductive reasoning altogether, then every appearance of the farmer would be a surprise.

So why is it that people insist that you can’t prove a negative? I think it is the result of two things. (1) an acknowledgement that induction is not bulletproof, airtight, and infallible, and (2) a desperate desire to keep believing whatever one believes, even if all the evidence is against it. That’s why people keep believing in alien abductions, even when flying saucers always turn out to be weather balloons, stealth jets, comets, or too much alcohol. You can’t prove a negative! You can’t prove that there are no alien abductions! Meaning: your argument against aliens is inductive, therefore not incontrovertible, and since I want to believe in aliens, I’m going to dismiss the argument no matter how overwhelming the evidence against aliens, and no matter how vanishingly small the chance of extraterrestrial abduction.

If we’re going to dismiss inductive arguments because they produce conclusions that are probable but not definite, then we are in deep doo-doo. Despite its fallibility, induction is vital in every aspect of our lives, from the mundane to the most sophisticated science. Without induction we know basically nothing about the world apart from our own immediate perceptions. So we’d better keep induction, warts and all, and use it to form negative beliefs as well as positive ones. You can prove a negative — at least as much as you can prove anything at all. http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy/pages/content/hales/articlepdf/proveanegative.pdf
You can not completely disprove a negative if the positive assertion lacks falsifiability which is what the article is saying, however, using inductive logic we can safely assume that there is no god due to the fact that all known methods of direct and indirect emprical observation have failed to provide one scrap of evidence for its existence.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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How so?
No "mind reading" was needed. We have the theists other posts and doctrine already.
ooops.
Here's your statement: "That's who/what they are thinking when they are posting." This is illogical and your poor attempt at mind reading. Like I said, you do not get to tell posters what they are thinking. That reduces your comment to nonsense.

&**^&*^^&%&%
As I said... I hope it will indeed get some people to look at their beliefs.
That was the purpose.
It was not a 'false premise' but a true statment that will hopefully stir some stuck pots.
Oh. So your statement was not based on facts or logic, just a comment to bait other people. Got it.

Fine!
AS long as we agree that's all you were doing.
Another bitsy semantic correction while the you can't address the meat.
Good. And that bitsy semantic correction makes your position as meaty as what a vegetarian eats. Without accurate terms, the "meat" of your position doesn't exist.


Lack of Belief doesn't require any "proof."
Golly. It's getting sad.
Astonishing, in fact.
Absolutely does... as proven several times. You are so wedded to your position that you cannot see the lack of logic in what you are arguing. It is sad to watch you do this.


Yes. Thanks for admitting I was right as to the subject matter of "Dear Atheists".
It took a while tho.
Ummm... I've been saying this all along.

I suggest you read #128 there, I made in good faith to my friend Reefedjib showing an atheist "attack"/aka counterargument can indeed not only have merit but have it overwhelmingly.
And I have demonstrated that, that same attack, though you claim can have merit, can actually have little to none.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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You can not completely disprove a negative if the positive assertion lacks falsifiability which is what the article is saying, however, using inductive logic we can safely assume that there is no god due to the fact that all known methods of direct and indirect emprical observation have failed to provide one scrap of evidence for its existence.
And all that means is that the existence of God is UNproven. As is the non-existence.
 

MaggieD

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You can not completely disprove a negative if the positive assertion lacks falsifiability which is what the article is saying, however, using inductive logic we can safely assume that there is no god due to the fact that all known methods of direct and indirect emprical observation have failed to provide one scrap of evidence for its existence.
The "safely assume" part is the fly in the ointment, isn't it? Because a believer can "safely assume" the Bible is mostly true. The point is this: "But one thing is certain: if proving things requires that an infinite number of premises get proved first, we’re not going to prove much of anything at all, positive or negative."
 

iangb

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And then you can get into some interesting cans of worms.
Didn't I just! I'd love a response on that, too, but so far no takers...

How can one "lack" a belief in God? The burden of proof is upon both theists and atheists. Do I "lack" a belief in naturalism?
That seems to be a common misconception among theists, actually. Absence of belief =/= belief in absence, otherwise each and every one of us would have an infinite number of beliefs - as there are an infinite number of things in which we do not believe in.


You can not completely disprove a negative if the positive assertion lacks falsifiability which is what the article is saying, however, using inductive logic we can safely assume that there is no god due to the fact that all known methods of direct and indirect emprical observation have failed to provide one scrap of evidence for its existence.
"Inductive logic" is a contradiction in terms. Logic is deductive, induction (science, amongst other things) is inductive. They're vey different things - for one, induction is not logical. Am I going to have to start talking about black swans?
 
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