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Old 10-24-2013, 06:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The standard position of atheists is that the theists assert and declare, but do so in the absence of evidence or proof that a god, or the god, exists. "Show us the proof" we write....but...

We have Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

So, even if there was a sudden global wide display of an entity which is capable of performing things we believe outside natural law, would that be god or would it just be an entity with abilities outside of our understanding? If some alien entity made the stars in the night sky move about and spell out "I am your god", would that be sufficient or might we still be suspecting that the alien's actual ability was to plant illusions in our brains?

How would we know if we had at last met a god...or met the god of gods? What could satisfy you as unassailable proof of a god rather than an extremely advanced alien magician?
Why are you expecting atheists to know how to define which god(s) to look for? I'd think that believers should be able to answer this question, assuming they actually believe in anything concrete enough to be investigated in the manner you're proposing.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post

As such it is not for me or anyone else to say what evidence will "satisfy us". The onus lies instead ENTIRELY on the person making the claim to very clearly lay out what the claim is, what the evidence for the claim is, and how that evidence supports the claim.
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This would be a relevant post perhaps if anyone here was making a claim. No one is arguing for or against a god, I am soliciting personal standards of proof, nothing more.

Yes, it does lie with the poster to define god, but why you would call this an "onus" eludes me. There isn't going to be a right and wrong answer against which posters pass or fail.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
Why are you expecting atheists to know how to define which god(s) to look for? I'd think that believers should be able to answer this question, assuming they actually believe in anything concrete enough to be investigated in the manner you're proposing.
I have advanced no such expectation, that is false assumption on your part. No one has to "know" how to define god when the question is how you as an individual would do it and what sort of evidence you would regard as affirming.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
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I need no proof to believe in something; the threshold 'beyond a reasonable doubt' will suffice. In the case of someones favorite deity, some sort of compelling evidence at all would be a nice start.

But writings in an ancient book, personal testimony of 'feeling' or 'knowing', or personal incredulity and/or non-sequitors ("Well, I just can't believe life is just for nothing!") don't cut it.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
"The technology required to actually make something invisible is so complex and unreliable that it isn't worth the bother. The "Somebody Else's Problem field" is much simpler and more effective, and can be run for over a hundred years on a single torch battery...it relies on people's natural predisposition not to see anything they don't want to, weren't expecting, or can't explain."
I recently read a book that posits that Artificial Intelligence (AI) research has come up with such unsatisfactory results over the years because it assumes the brain is a sort of computer. It is, in fact, a pattern storage and matching engine, and one of the ways it works is not so much to look for familiar patterns as to notify us of unfamiliar patterns. The canonical example is that from the thousands of sensory impressions you get walking up to, unlocking, and entering the front door of your house, you'll probably not bring any of them to conscious awareness unless something is out of the ordinary, such as the doorknob is suddenly loose, or the key doesn't work, or it makes a previously unknown sound when being swung open, etc.

So in reality I would posit that something unexpected is exactly what we WOULD notice. When something challenges our belief-system there will be a tendency to ignore it or explain it away in order to defend the belief-system -- whether expected or not.

The thing that theism sustains itself on is that it's based mostly on agency inference and other natural tendencies of the brain. The LACK of evidence for god is highly ignorable precisely because there is no evidence for god and thus nothing to notice. The subjective ideation of god is hard to ignore at least in areas where humans are uninformed, because it's exactly what the brain wants to see.

So when we think of what would constitute proof of god, I actually think that sensing - feeling types with reasonable fortunate lives already have all the proof that they need; they are willing to live with very low evidentiary standards so long as their life is at least rationalizable and there's an adequate amount of feelgood for them to experience. But people for whom the abstraction leaks, or who are too heady, would need to experience something that fully fixes the leaky god abstraction and provides empirical evidence for god.

Even if, as others have suggested, god were to perform REAL miracles that everyone experiences, and god were to take credit for them in a voice understandable to everyone in the same moment, that would only be a start. Because a thinking person would want to know how this would be a particular god (the Christian one for example) or just a very powerful being messing with us. The Christian god, for instance, would need to not only begin to live up to his billing by growing missing limbs and curing disease, etc., but he would have to also explain, why the late appearance in our reality? What about all the countless generations of people who have suffered in the past? And what are the "correct" interpretations of the scripture and the reconciliation of all the conflicts and errors within it? What is actually true of heaven and hell? What is the actual purpose of life on earth -- why is it even needed? What does god actually WANT from us?

So for me, the ultimate proof of god would be the elimination of the proliferation of religions and denominations and the identification and communication of actual Truth, delivered direct to the brains of all humanity so there need be no more debate or war over the matter. There should be only believers in a particular exact thing and whatever unbelievers are left would be mentally ill or lacking in sufficient mental facilities -- and those would all be healed anyway ... so there's be just unambiguous truth that everyone was joyfully on board with. THAT would be proof of god.

And that would also be equivalent to heaven, so we could just eliminate this whole silly earthly anteroom and get down to the business of everlasting bliss.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:42 AM
 
Location: WA
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A new species just popping up out of the dirt.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post

So for me, the ultimate proof of god would be the elimination of the proliferation of religions and denominations and the identification and communication of actual Truth, delivered direct to the brains of all humanity so there need be no more debate or war over the matter. There should be only believers in a particular exact thing and whatever unbelievers are left would be mentally ill or lacking in sufficient mental facilities -- and those would all be healed anyway ... so there's be just unambiguous truth that everyone was joyfully on board with. THAT would be proof of god.

.
That would establish an entity powerful enough to influence/control (or however that works) human thoughts, but would you be simultaneously satisfied that this is also the creator of all things?

Of course we also have to contend with possibility that this entity could plant the idea that it is the creator in our brains, without necessarily being the creator.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:06 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
That would establish an entity powerful enough to influence/control (or however that works) human thoughts, but would you be simultaneously satisfied that this is also the creator of all things?

Of course we also have to contend with possibility that this entity could plant the idea that it is the creator in our brains, without necessarily being the creator.
But how would you tell the difference? If an entity was powerful enough to make you think something how would you even have the capacity to question it? It would be no different than any of the other ideas in your head.

And at that point it may as well be god.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
But how would you tell the difference? If an entity was powerful enough to make you think something how would you even have the capacity to question it? It would be no different than any of the other ideas in your head.

And at that point it may as well be god.
Those were the problems I had in mind when I asked the question.

It might be that the only way to affirm a god would be if you were also a god, one which is outside the manipulative influence of any other.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:33 PM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
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I would require the same proof of a God that I would require of the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. Oh, and that imaginary friend I had in grade school.
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