Dawkins spectrum of probabilities

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adamd164
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Post by adamd164 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:14 am

mkaobrih wrote:Nope – maths is about proofs. There are no proofs in science just observed events and theory’s to explain these events. Theories, which can be amended if they need be. You cannot live your life expecting to have things proven to you before you can fully accept or dismiss them.
A hypothesis only becomes a thoery if it satisfies certain criteria, one of which is that it be falsfiable. Hence, Dawkins uses the term "hypothesis".

http://servercc.oakton.edu/~billtong/ea ... method.htm

As the saying goes, absence of evidence is not evidence of absense. Just because we see no good evidence for a supernatural being's existence doesn't prove anything to a satisfactory degree.
inedifix
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Post by inedifix » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:29 pm

I would consider myself a Strong Atheist, but I'm in agreement with those who cannot commit to a full blown 7. I go about my daily life as a 7, but intellectually speaking, I cannot put my hand up and say: "I know, for an absolute, incontrovertible fact, that there is no god." (Where god means any supernatural creator entity, not just the Abrahamic one).

Even though admitting this is uncomfortable, I cannot pretend to such certainty, and would count myself a 6.9something Atheist: I think we live in a natural world governed by natural laws and I operate on the basis that there are no gods, spirits, souls, or other supernatural forces/entities, but I accept the slim, theoretical possibility that I might be wrong.

My my ten year old son quizzed me about such matters not long ago and I told him that it is more important to think, and keep thinking than it is to know. And I stand by this. For me, even though I'm not a scientist, this is the beauty of the scientific method. It generates knowledge without ever calling a halt to the pursuit for more. The words, "I know for certain" effectively call a halt to that search. When someone believes they 'know the truth' they have effectively abandoned the pursuit of further knowledge - a trait I've most commonly come across in religious people (including four relatives I spent an exasperating time debating spiritualism with yesterday afternoon :roll:).

J
lostexpectation
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Post by lostexpectation » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:08 pm

people trying to uber-scienfitific by suggest there is a possibility of a god? fake and ridiculous
adamd164
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Post by adamd164 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:26 pm

lostexpectation wrote:people trying to uber-scienfitific by suggest there is a possibility of a god? fake and ridiculous
Possible? Sure; no direct evidence to suggest otherwise.

Probable? No; no evidence whatsoever to suggest so.

Whilst claiming it probable would be very much ridiculous, I'm still trying to figure out why it is that you think that claiming it possible is.

Guess I just need a little more faith, and then I can join fintan's club (religion?) too.


... and I'll try to stop being fake as well. Note to self: remember to be a close-minded, dogmatic, absolutist non-believer.
Last edited by adamd164 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
inedifix
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Post by inedifix » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:26 pm

lostexpectation wrote:people trying to uber-scienfitific by suggest there is a possibility of a god? fake and ridiculous
Que?

There's a big difference between 'suggesting' there is the possibility of a god (which I did not do) and 'allowing' for the possibility, no matter how slim, that one might exist.

I 'believe' my personal naturalistic view of the world is 100% correct, but I am simply not arrogant enough to insist that I'm in personal possesion of certain 'knowledge' it is.

If being a 6.9 atheist doesn't make me a 'true atheist' in yours, or anyone else's eyes... fine, I'm comfortable with that. As a mere mortal primate abroad in an ancient, super-massive universe for a relative nano-blip of existence, I came to terms with uncertainty where ultimate truth is concerned a long time ago (relatively speaking).

J
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Post by fintanruth » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:33 am

A ten year old child asks the simple question, is there any such thing as God?

The mystical answer to this question can have many variations, but for a simple answer let’s take the Catholic position.

Yes there is a God and he comes in three parts and then there’s Mary the mother of God.

The scientific answer from what I’m reading on this thread is.

No there is no such thing as God but we can’t know this for certain. If somebody says there is a God we can’t prove them wrong.

Woody Allen’s answer is.

Not alone is there no God but you can’t even get a plumber on a Sunday.

The logical answer is.

No there is no such thing as God, even though there were thousands of them in ancient mythology. Our present day knowledge of nature has over time given us a better understanding of all those ancient gods.

The meaning of the word God in the dictionary is based on the mystical definition:- God (in monotheistic religions): - The supreme being creator and ruler of the universe.

A more logical meaning in today’s terms would be.

God is a meme (an idea or element of social behavior passed on through generations in a culture, esp. by imitation) that has been inculcated (to instill by forceful or insistent repetition) on the mind of humanity in different forms since its inception by Moses at a time of great trauma for the Israelites when they were been culled by the Egyptians.

Moses came up with the idea of the God Yahweh three and a half thousand years ago, and humanity is stuck with this meme ever since. The evolutionary process took over from Moses and the original meme changed as it was passed on from generation to generation right up to today, where it flourishes with slightly different variations, in thousands of different cultures and religions, all over the planet.

These slight variations are deemed so important to each culture that they are prepared to kill or die for it, thus ensuring the survival of the meme “God” in its many variations.


I’m still sticking to my position of a category 7 atheist and it’s not based on faith as adamd164 suggests but on logic which is the only reasonable position when science can’t give a definite explanation.

There is or there isn’t a God and not a 6.95 place on scale of one 1 - 7, and this suggestion of a "fintan's faith club" is the greatest load of rubbish I have ever read in my Life.

Fintan

www.therealmoses.com
Last edited by fintanruth on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
inedifix
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Post by inedifix » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:39 am

fintanruth wrote:A ten year old child asks the simple question, is there any such thing as God?
Actually, I gave an answer that started very like this...
No there is no such thing as God, even though there were thousands of them in ancient mythology. Our present day knowledge of nature has over time given us a better understanding of all those ancient gods.
... which was yours. I then told him (oddly enough) about the incipience of the Yahweh cult and subsequent evolution into modern day Christianity. I also told him about other religions around the world, and how the proponents of each believed that theirs was 'the one true faith', adding that the only logical conclusion to an objective observer was that all were wrong.

But I rounded it all off by saying: "All of this is my opinion. You should not take what I say as fact just because I'm your father. Nor should you believe in god because your teacher/aunt/etc says you should. You should take the information from both sides of the argument and make your own mind up for yourself."

Neither of my kids believes in god. But they have arrived at this conclusion on their own terms. And that's something I'll continue to foster. I believe atheism is the default state. They don't need me to push them towards the blindingly obvious.
fintanruth wrote:There is or there isn’t a God and not a 6.95% of a no God
Are you really confusing the term "6.95 Atheist on a 1 to 7 scale" with "6.95% of a no god?" or was that just a weak attempt at facetiousness? Surely you don't believe in 7% of a no god?

But you're right: there either is or their isn't a god of any description out there. And I am convinced that there isn't. But I cannot possess 100% knowledge to that effect. And neither can you.

J
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Post by munsterdevil » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:50 am

When I was reading this chapter I was also surprised to discover Dawkins "Belief Scale"

I would also have to say I would be a 7
adamd164
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Post by adamd164 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:30 pm

fintanruth wrote:There is or there isn’t a God and not a 6.95% of a no God, and this suggestion of a "fintan's faith club" is the greatest load of rubbish I have ever read in my Life.
You have managed to convolute this to the point where me saying that I'm a 6.95 on the 1-7 scale is taken to represent some sort of absurd notion about fractional or percentile gods. It doesn't even enter into the equation; no one disputes what you are saying: there either is or is not a god. The 1-7 scale represents only degrees of certainty about the (100%) existence of this supernatural being -- 7 being absolute certainty.

Chris Hitchens makes a valid point in God Is Not Great about disregarding the views of people who claim to posess knowledge that they cannot possibly have. He is referring, of course, to religious people. But you are doing precisely the same thing by saying that there is certainly not a supernatural entity. It is a fact that you cannot know this; and yet you claim to.
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Post by fintanruth » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:41 pm

The % was a simple mistake on my behalf sorry for that.
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