• Frank Apisa
    896
    Devans99
    1.2k

    From this point forward, when you use the word "God" the way you do, I will assume you mean a specific god. Either tell me which god you speak of...or I will assume you mean what I consider the almost cartoon god of the Old Testament. — Frank Apisa


    I do not know which God it is. It could be the Flying Spaghetti Monster for all I know. There is an almost zero chance that any of the worlds religions are correct so it is hard to identify God with a particular Religion. Some religions have some things partially correct. For example, I believe catholics believe that God is timeless which is correct.
    Devans99

    Since you are not talking about "a god"...but rather about "God"...and referring to it as "he"...I will make the assumption I made, because it almost certainly is that god.



    You are wrong. There are no logical arguments for that God — Frank Apisa


    If you want to debate the existence of a first cause, best to do it here:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/5577/was-there-a-first-cause-reviewing-the-five-ways/p2
    — Devans

    If you are suggesting you can make arguments for that god here and that I cannot respond...I have a suggestion for that suggestion.

    Do you want to hear it or are you pretty sure you know what my suggestion would be?

    I have laid out all the arguments in the OP. — Devans

    See my comment above.

    If you want to think there is no empirical evidence against that god...think it.

    You are wrong. — Frank Apisa


    What empirical evidence can you give against God? My God is not omni-present BTW.

    If you want to think there is no empirical evidence for what may not exist...a tortured bit of logic...think it.

    It appears to me that you, like all of us, do not know if any gods exist or not...and are unwilling to acknowledge that you do not know...mostly by pretending your blind guesses are not really blind, but are logical.

    You are helping to answer the OP. I'll give you that.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    Since you are not talking about "a god"...but rather about "God"...and referring to it as "he"...I will make the assumption I made, because it almost certainly is that godFrank Apisa

    Seriously, I am not religious.

    If you are suggesting you can make arguments for that god here and that I cannot respond...I have a suggestion for that suggestion.

    Do you want to hear it or are you pretty sure you know what my suggestion would be?
    Frank Apisa

    I would like to hear your suggestion (and any counter arguments you can make against God).

    If you want to think there is no empirical evidence for what may not exist...a tortured bit of logic...think it.Frank Apisa

    Well you could for example show the universe was not created or show there was no first cause; both would be equivalent to disproving God's existence.
  • Frank Apisa
    896
    Devans99
    1.2k

    Since you are not talking about "a god"...but rather about "God"...and referring to it as "he"...I will make the assumption I made, because it almost certainly is that god — Frank Apisa


    Seriously, I am not religious.
    Devans99

    Okay. But you are stone-headed...and that is much worse.

    If you are suggesting you can make arguments for that god here and that I cannot respond...I have a suggestion for that suggestion.

    Do you want to hear it or are you pretty sure you know what my suggestion would be? — Frank Apisa


    I would like to hear your suggestion
    — Devans

    My suggestion is for you to shove YOUR suggestion to where the sun never shines.


    (and any counter arguments you can make against God). — Devans

    God?

    That god is so obviously mythological...no arguments are really needed.

    If you want to think a god made the Earth...placed it in orbit around a star...placed that star in a galaxy with 250 billion other stars...and placed that galaxy in among hundreds of billions of other galaxies...

    ...and still cares about what some guys does with his own dick...

    ...be my guest.

    If that does not seem absurd to you...what could I say?


    If you want to think there is no empirical evidence for what may not exist...a tortured bit of logic...think it. — Frank Apisa


    Well you could for example show the universe was not created or show there was no first cause; both would be equivalent to disproving God's existence.

    Using your methodology of debate...I would just declare it to be so and refuse to accept any arguments that show such a declaration to be absurd.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    That god is so obviously mythological...no arguments are really needed.Frank Apisa

    As I said, I am not arguing for any particular God. The chances of any particular religion actually being true seem minimal to me, but the chances that a 'generic' God exists seem much higher. This God is not mythological in any way. This God has to obey the rules of logic for example. So I think such a God is not only possible, but probable.

    If you want to think a god made the Earth...placed it in orbit around a star...placed that star in a galaxy with 250 billion other stars...and placed that galaxy in among hundreds of billions of other galaxies...

    ...and still cares about what some guys does with his own dick...
    Frank Apisa

    I do not think that, what I think is:

    - God was responsible for the Big Bang only. He did not make the Earth directly.
    - Gos is not omnipresent. It just seems unlikely to me. Where is his nervous system for example?
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    If I say I do not have a belief that any gods exist...THAT IS NOT AMBIGUOUS.Frank Apisa

    But that is not what you said. You did not say you do not have a belief that 'X' you said I do not "believe" 'X'.

    If I say I do not have a belief that no gods exist...THAT IS NOT AMBIGUOUS.Frank Apisa

    Again, that is not what you said. When you say that you do not believe 'X' that does not mean that you have no belief about 'X'. As you said, precise language is a must.

    You agreed that it was AMBIGUOUS when I used rain in place of gods. Or when you say "Okay" you are simply being non-committal? AMBIGUOUS?

    I strive to express myself simply and clearly. I learned this from "The Elements of Style" many years ago. although it took me many years to put it into practice. Given what you have said about yourself, I think it likely that you too have come across this idea. But evidently you do not recognize its value. Why else would you say something like "I do not believe 'X'" when you mean "I hold to no beliefs regarding 'X'" in the context of this discussion?

    I'll ask again: what is the point? Why phrase something in a way that you know will lead to misunderstanding?
  • S
    11.8k
    If what you say can mean either of two different things then it is ambiguous. I am not interested in playing this game.Fooloso4

    You're blaming him for your own mistaken assumption. Next time, if you're not sure, just seek clarification.

    Even though it was pretty obvious. He meant what he said, and if he didn't, then he would've worded it better. I'm sure he's perfectly capable of wording statements of that sort appropriately. How hard can it be to state, "I do not believe...", instead of, "I believe..."?
  • S
    11.8k
    You're not following what I'm saying.

    You brought up the following above: "the fact that we're talking about god, unspecified, means that we're talking about god, broadly, as per a number of possible conceptions, one of which is an undetectable god."

    Is that identical to simply saying "It's logically possible," or is that something different than simply saying "it's logically possible"?
    Terrapin Station

    I think I am. The problem seems to be that you're missing the point and leading me down the garden path. I'm not sure whether this is accidental or whether you're deliberately twisting my words.

    I only ever meant to make the point that the logical possibility of an undetectable god means that your criticism about evidence misses the point that was being made. It misses the point because it can only be criticism against a detectable god, and it was never specified that a detectable god is what is being talked about. On the contrary, it was clear to me that it was an unspecified god that was being talked about.

    Seriously, how hard is that to understand? You keep leading me places which do nothing. The situation we're in won't just go away if you ask me some pointless question which gets us nowhere. It's like you're trying to "win" through distraction or by twisting my words in an attempt to "catch me out".
  • Frank Apisa
    896
    Fooloso4
    357

    If I say I do not have a belief that any gods exist...THAT IS NOT AMBIGUOUS. — Frank Apisa


    But that is not what you said. You did not say you do not have a belief that 'X' you said I do not "believe" 'X'.

    If I say I do not have a belief that no gods exist...THAT IS NOT AMBIGUOUS. — Frank Apisa


    Again, that is not what you said. When you say that you do not believe 'X' that does not mean that you have no belief about 'X'. As you said, precise language is a must.

    You agreed that it was AMBIGUOUS when I used rain in place of gods. Or when you say "Okay" you are simply being non-committal? AMBIGUOUS?

    I strive to express myself simply and clearly. I learned this from "The Elements of Style" many years ago. although it took me many years to put it into practice. Given what you have said about yourself, I think it likely that you too have come across this idea. But evidently you do not recognize its value. Why else would you say something like "I do not believe 'X'" when you mean "I hold to no beliefs regarding 'X'" in the context of this discussion?
    Fooloso4

    Apparently you are not able to acknowledge that saying "I do not believe "X"...IS NOT the same as saying "I believe not-X."

    That is your problem.

    You obviously are not equipped for a discussion like this.

    I'll ask again: what is the point? Why phrase something in a way that you know will lead to misunderstanding? — Fool

    Because that was the point I was making.

    I was making it here...and in another thread at the same time.

    What I said was absolutely the truth.

    There was no ambiguity.

    But, if you are not adult enough to acknowledge that...no problem. In fact, the fact that you are having that difficulty is a part of the answer to the OP.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    I only ever meant to make the point that the logical possibility of an undetectable god means that your criticism about evidence misses the point that was being made. It misses the point because it can only be criticism against a detectable god, and it was never specified that a detectable god is what is being talked about. On the contrary, it was clear to me that it was an unspecified god that was being talked about.S

    My initial post in this tangent was about the following, and it was only about the following:

    I am making a statement about the absurdity of supposing the default position on an issue where there is no evidence of being...is that what is being considered DOES NOT EXIST.

    The default should be, I DO NOT KNOW IF IT EXISTS.
    Frank Apisa

    That's not even specifically about the idea of a god. It's a more general epistemic idea.
  • S
    11.8k
    If that's all you wanted to talk about, then why didn't you make that clear sooner? Why waste both of our time like that?

    What the hell?
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    Apparently you are not able to acknowledge that saying "I do not believe "X"...IS NOT the same as saying "I believe not-X."Frank Apisa

    If you do not believe no gods exist then either have no belief about gods or you believe gods exist. You might mean one or the other. It is ambiguous. Saying it is ambiguous is not the same as saying you must believe X or not-X. Are you able to acknowledge that?

    You go on to say:

    There were NO "beliefs" held there, Foolso.Frank Apisa

    I did NOT express a "belief." I mentioned that I do not hold certain "beliefs."Frank Apisa

    But earlier you said:

    I also do not "believe" any gods exist, Fooloso.Frank Apisa
    We are of the same mind regarding the first belief.Fooloso4

    My belief is that gods do not exist. If we are of the same mind regarding this then when you say you also do not believe any gods exist then you are expressing the same belief as I am. You no longer have the option of claiming you do not believe any gods exist because you hold no beliefs about the gods. In that case we would not be of the same mind. Are you able to acknowledge that?
  • S
    11.8k
    My belief is that gods do not exist. If we are of the same mind regarding this then when you say you also do not believe any gods exist then you are expressing the same belief as I am.Fooloso4

    You seem very confused. The "also" makes no sense whatsoever there, and your interpretation is very poor. For some weird reason, you just decided to interpret a clearly worded negation of belief as an affirmation of belief.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    If that's all you wanted to talk about, then why didn't you make that clear sooner? Why waste both of our time like that?S

    How am I supposed to know that you weren't following the conversation? I quoted the bit I just re-quoted above, and that's what I was responding to. Then Frank responded to my comment about it.
  • S
    11.8k
    How am I supposed to know that you weren't following the conversation? I quoted the bit I just re-quoted above, and that's what I was responding to. Then Frank responded to my comment about it.Terrapin Station

    Sometimes it seems like you're being deliberately difficult. It's like you withhold information, like the knowledge that you're addressing what's very much the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law, and you drag things out, only to eventually spring something like this on me.

    Do you relish that moment?
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    In my last post I wrongly credited you with saying that we were of the same mind. You asked the question and I answered that we were of the same mind regarding the first statement.

    What you fail to realize is that we are not talking about logical entailment. We are talking about what some guy on the internet says. What some guy says and what he means are not always the same, and what he mean is often not clear, even to himself.

    Once again, when you say that you do not believe 'X' that does not mean that you have no belief about 'X'. It might be that is what you mean that but you might mean that you do hold this belief. The statement is ambiguous. It is up to the people you are talking to decide for themselves what you mean.

    Two can play this game. I said:

    You are, of course, allowed to hold contradictory beliefs, but I prefer not to.Fooloso4

    I did not claim that you do hold contradictory beliefs. It does not follow from the statement that you are allowed to hold contradictory beliefs, that you do or that I claimed you did.

    I see that you love to argue, but if you think that is what philosophy is about then we have very different views on the matter. I am not going to waste any more time with this game of ambiguities.
  • Maureen
    53
    Update: I am using a touchscreen laptop and the mouse pad no longer works properly which is inhibiting my ability to quote texts. I know that this is possible, but I just wanted to explain why I haven't done it or haven't been doing it.

    With that said, You are assuming that any Gods exist. It would not matter which God or Gods anyone was referring to in a conversation unless some Gods or one particular God exists among the one(s) being referenced. But as I said before, no one knows if any God(s) do or do not exist. If no one had ever seen elephants before or knew about them and they existed but only lived on another planet, then they would exist but you would not know that they exist. I don't even know that there would be any theories about their existence, it would more than likely simply be that they exist and you don't know it. This example is empirically no different than God(s) since no one has seen God(s) and therefore theoretically no one knows if He or they exist. But as in the example that I gave, God(s) could exist and we just are not aware of it for whatever reasons, just as elephants could theoretically be confined to another planet and we might not know that they exist as a result. With that said, I am particularly irritated by the idea that anyone INSISTS that God(s) absolutely does or does not exist, when as I have just explained NOBODY knows this. It seems as if there are so many people on this forum and elsewhere who cannot think or understand that you don't know whether God exists, or either you just refuse to admit this. It's one thing not to admit that God(s) does or does not exist, but please at least accept that you DO NOT KNOW either way. I find it hilarious that we have spent 11 pages arguing this simply because people refuse to accept the initial point that I made.
  • Isaac
    1.6k
    Hopefully not treading on anyone's toes here because I think this might be the point @Terrapin Station was heading towards, but an analogy might be made with a coin toss.

    We declare that we don't know if it will land heads or tails because we have no data either way, to say either would be a guess. This is the basic position @Frank Apisa is taking.

    But say I come along and say that I do have some data indicating it will land on heads. I say that all similar coins I've tossed have landed heads. Frank says "but this coin is not like the others (god might be undetectable etc), so your data doesn't apply, the coin toss remains a guess".

    But the question "does my data apply?" is, at this point, another unknown, another coin toss. So, if treating it similarly, the correct statement about the first coin toss is not "it's just a guess", it's "it might be just a guess, or it might not be, it depends on the second coin toss".

    This uncertainty is then like a third coin toss... And so on. We end up, as Wittgenstein does in 'On Certainty' with a bedrock of propositions which we simply do not doubt, not ones we cannot talk about doubting, just ones we do not, in practice, doubt.

    We cannot, in practice, act as if things exist with properties such as being impossible to detect, even in theory. Properties such as manifest influence on spacetime without being located in spacetime. In practice, "God doesn't exist", or "God probably doesn't exist" are both perfectly rational statements to make because it is impossible to even proceed with thought, let alone life, without simply assuming some hinge propositions to be sound.

    I think each person may even have different hinge propositions, but that's another discussion. The point is, the coin tossing has to stop somewhere.
  • Frank Apisa
    896
    Maureen
    21
    Update: I am using a touchscreen laptop and the mouse pad no longer works properly which is inhibiting my ability to quote texts. I know that this is possible, but I just wanted to explain why I haven't done it or haven't been doing it.

    With that said, ↪Frank Apisa
    You are assuming that any Gods exist. It would not matter which God or Gods anyone was referring to in a conversation unless some Gods or one particular God exists among the one(s) being referenced. But as I said before, no one knows if any God(s) do or do not exist. If no one had ever seen elephants before or knew about them and they existed but only lived on another planet, then they would exist but you would not know that they exist. I don't even know that there would be any theories about their existence, it would more than likely simply be that they exist and you don't know it. This example is empirically no different than God(s) since no one has seen God(s) and therefore theoretically no one knows if He or they exist. But as in the example that I gave, God(s) could exist and we just are not aware of it for whatever reasons, just as elephants could theoretically be confined to another planet and we might not know that they exist as a result. With that said, I am particularly irritated by the idea that anyone INSISTS that God(s) absolutely does or does not exist, when as I have just explained NOBODY knows this. It seems as if there are so many people on this forum and elsewhere who cannot think or understand that you don't know whether God exists, or either you just refuse to admit this. It's one thing not to admit that God(s) does or does not exist, but please at least accept that you DO NOT KNOW either way. I find it hilarious that we have spent 11 pages arguing this simply because people refuse to accept the initial point that I made.
    Maureen

    I absolutely, positively DO NOT KNOW if any gods exist.

    I have said that many times already.

    Here is my position with regard to gods (of any sort):

    I do not know if gods exist or not;
    I see no reason to suspect gods CANNOT EXIST...that the existence of gods is impossible;
    I see no reason to suspect that gods MUST EXIST...that gods are needed to explain existence;
    I do not see enough unambiguous evidence upon which to base a meaningful guess in either direction...

    ...so I don't.


    I have posted this many times already.
  • S
    11.8k
    It's so confusing, isn't it? All that ambiguity.

    What on earth does, "I do not believe in a god", mean?

    Does it mean, "I do not believe in a god"?

    Or does it mean, "I believe in no gods"?

    It's hard to tell, because the choice of words and the ordering of them in such sentences is apparently just completely random and has no bearing on meaning whatsoever.
  • S
    11.8k
    This uncertainty is then like a third coin toss... And so on. We end up, as Wittgenstein does in 'On Certainty' with a bedrock of propositions which we simply do not doubt, not ones we cannot talk about doubting, just ones we do not, in practice, doubt.

    We cannot, in practice, act as if things exist with properties such as being impossible to detect, even in theory. Properties such as manifest influence on spacetime without being located in spacetime. In practice, "God doesn't exist", or "God probably doesn't exist" are both perfectly rational statements to make because it is impossible to even proceed with thought, let alone life, without simply assuming some hinge propositions to be sound.

    I think each person may even have different hinge propositions, but that's another discussion. The point is, the coin tossing has to stop somewhere.
    Isaac

    You mentioned, "in practice", quite a few times there. But if you're talking about, "in practice", then you won't get much disagreement from me.

    The problem is, we're engaged in this philosophical enquiry to get at something deeper than, "in practice". In practice, as I've said, a useless undetectable god that does nothing other than exist somewhere unknown to us doesn't make any difference. But aren't we questioning the possible reality, not how we casually treat things?

    It seems important in epistemology that we can't logically rule out the actual existence of certain conceptions of god. Epistemology is not ethics. Ethics deals with how we should live, and the principle that we should live as though it doesn't matter falls under ethics, not epistemology.
  • Isaac
    1.6k
    aren't we questioning the possible reality, not how we casually treat things?

    It seems important in epistemology that we can't logically rule out the actual existence of certain conceptions of god.
    S

    Yes, but I think hinge propositions apply here too. Like the 'discussion' we had with Jake, at some point in the questioning one has to simply accept things like reason and logic as given, otherwise there is no basis for discussion at all.

    I think here with "does x exist" type claims, one of the hinge propositions we must accept in order for the discussion to be meaningful is that things which 'exist' are detectable, at least in theory. If not directly, then necessitated by their effects on things which are.

    It may well be that things exist which are not even detectable in theory, but likewise it may well be that human logic is just made up and has no bearing on reality at all. In the case of the former though, as with the latter, believing it simply renders any further discussion pointless. What would we do with the knowledge that it is possible some thing which cannot be detected exists?

    Plus, personally, I'm wary of applying reason to a proposition I can't conceive. Maybe others can and I'm just projecting my own lack of intellectual imagination onto them, but I just cannot make such a thing coherent and so cannot trust that I'm really applying logic to it and not just saying things on the grounds that they can be said.
  • S
    11.8k
    I can't help but be logical about this when I'm in that mode, although I can switch between being logical and being practical. It just doesn't seem very interesting or deep to be practical about this from the angle of epistemology. Unless a proposition is demonstrated through sound logic to imply a contradiction, then it is reasonable to maintain that it is logically possible. The actual existence of an undetectable god is one such proposition. And the rest, meaning all this stuff about in practice and what matters and suchlike, is changing the subject. We can be practical by just shutting up and making some cheese on toast or doing the washing up or something, but that's not doing philosophy.
  • Isaac
    1.6k
    Unless a proposition is demonstrated through sound logic to imply a contradiction, then it is reasonable to maintain that it is logically possible. The actual existence of an undetectable god is one such proposition.S

    This is the matter that I'm taking issue with though. Not with pragmatism in the 'doing the washing up' sense, but with pragmatism of the 'how can we do logic with this' sense.

    I'm saying that the notion of 'exists' and the notion of 'impossible to detect, even in theory' are logically incompatible because of the properties we ascribe to them. I understand your desire to do pure logic here, but obviously we cannot do logic on itself. We cannot answer "is a=b logical" without some properties of a and b to go on.

    So here we're asking "could an undetectable being exist?" and so the logical answer still depends on the properties of 'undetectable' and 'exists'. I'm arguing that the properties of 'undetectable' are unknowable because I cannot conceive of such a thing, and that it couldn't exist anyway by definition.

    I'm very rusty on logic, but to put it in as basic a form as possible; the set {things that exist} has as a membership criteria the property of 'being detectable (at least in theory)', therefore, if God has the property of 'not being detectable' it is not in the set {things that exist}.

    So, my issue is - how do we defend against the proposition that a square circle exists? We might say, it cannot logically because it is a contradiction in terms. If someone then says, "well why can't something which is a contradiction in terms exist?", we have no further recourse than just "because it can't" (or to slap them).

    The same seems to me to be true of undetectable existing things "why can't an undetectable thing exist?", "because it can't".
  • S
    11.8k
    We disagree. I rule out square circles because of the law of noncontradiction. Without that fundamental law of logic, nothing makes any sense. But although I do not actually believe that there exists a god or any being at all that is undetectable, it is conceivable, and it doesn't contradict the concept of existence, because existence doesn't entail detectability, even if there is no known exception. That's a black swan error, or just an attempt to win an argument through definition. If you define existence in that way, then by that definition, you're right and I'm wrong. And if I define a horse as cooked bread, then by that definition, I'm right to say that I had cheese on horse this morning, and you can't argue against me on my own terms.
  • Isaac
    1.6k
    If you define existence in that way, then by that definition, you're right and I'm wrong. And if I define a horse as cooked bread, then by that definition, I'm right to say that I had cheese on horse this morning, and you can't argue against me on my own terms.S

    I agree that, if I'm right I'm only right by definition, but I disagree that it is the same as your ad absurdum. I have reasons for defining existence the way I have, using the term that way will not in any way hamper my being understood, and no one has yet provided any reason why I shouldn't. All three such criteria of reasonableness are not met with your horse/toast example.

    Maybe, after discussion, you'll convince me that my definition is useless, or inappropriate here, but until that has happened, it remains a reasonable one. Now if you need to check why defining 'horse as cooked bread is unreasonable...
  • S
    11.8k
    I agree that, if I'm right I'm only right by definition, but I disagree that it is the same as your ad absurdum. I have reasons for defining existence the way I have, using the term that way will not in any way hamper my being understood, and no one has yet provided any reason why I shouldn't. All three such criteria of reasonableness are not met with your horse/toast example.

    Maybe, after discussion, you'll convince me that my definition is useless, or inappropriate here, but until that has happened, it remains a reasonable one. Now if you need to check why defining 'horse as cooked bread is unreasonable...
    Isaac

    You shouldn't define it that way because I can conceive of the existence of an undetectable being. It makes sense. Yet your definition rules it out.

    An undetectable being is not like a square circle. An undetectable being is more like a black swan.
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    There is absolutely no ambiguity about the comment, "I do not believe gods exist" and there is absolutely no ambiguity about the comment, "I do not believe there are no gods."

    Both are truthful.
    Frank Apisa

    You need to look up the definition of ambiguity. The fact that a statement is truthful does not mean it is not ambiguous. It I say: "I do not believe it is not going to rain", that is a truthful statement if I do not believe it is not going to rain. The question is, what do I mean when I say this? If I believed that it was going to rain that would be consistent with the statement. If I meant I have no belief one way or the other that too would be consistent with the statement. So, how do you know on the basis of the statement which one I meant?

    If you are too stupid to see the point I was makingFrank Apisa

    Of course I saw the point! I do not think it helpful to call people stupid but if I did I would say that you are the one who is stupid for your inability to see why your initial statement was ambiguous. Not believing X does not mean that you believe not-X, but that could be what you meant. I would also call you stupid for not understanding that meaning involves a great deal more than making a true statement. A member sent me this privately:

    'Donald Davidson argues that language competence must not simply involve learning a set meaning for each word, and then rigidly applying those semantic rules to decode other people's utterances. Rather, he says, people must also be continually making use of other contextual information to interpret the meaning of utterances, and then modifying their understanding of each word's meaning based on those interpretations.'

    When you provided further context, namely that you hold no beliefs about gods, then and only then was your statement no longer ambiguous as to what you meant.

    If you are too stupid to see the point I was making...or why I was making it...go talk with someone about movies or TV programs, because these kinds of discussions are beyond you.Frank Apisa

    You know nothing about my educational level or training. There are several reasons why I do not make it known, but one is that it is a good source of amusement as some with little or no training in philosophy draw conclusions about me that only demonstrate their lack of education.
  • Isaac
    1.6k
    You shouldn't define it that way because I can conceive of the existence of an undetectable being. It makes sense. Yet your definition rules it out.S

    Well, I trust your intellect, so that's good enough for me, but I can't conceive of such a thing existing, so we either agree to differ or you tell me a bit more about this thing you conceive. Presumably it can't do anything (since that would have an impact, and therefore be detectable), it can't take up any space or time. Are we talking about something like an idea (real, but non-physical) or something in another realm, or in this realm but another dimension (although I would think that made it at least theoretically detectable)?
  • S
    11.8k
    Well, I trust your intellect, so that's good enough for me, but I can't conceive of such a thing existing, so we either agree to differ or you tell me a bit more about this thing you conceive. Presumably it can't do anything (since that would have an impact, and therefore be detectable), it can't take up any space or time. Are we talking about something like an idea (real, but non-physical) or something in another realm, or in this realm but another dimension (although I would think that made it at least theoretically detectable)?Isaac

    You seem to be treating science and logic in the same manner, whereas I do not. It is possible that science is wrong. It is not possible that logic, in the most fundamental sense, is wrong, because logic defines what's possible. For that reason, it is possible that even though science might say that we would or could in theory detect the existence of any being of any constitution whatsoever, anywhere at all, it might turn out to be wrong. But how is it possible for there to be a square circle?
  • Frank Apisa
    896
    Fooloso4
    364

    There is absolutely no ambiguity about the comment, "I do not believe gods exist" and there is absolutely no ambiguity about the comment, "I do not believe there are no gods."

    Both are truthful. — Frank Apisa


    You need to look up the definition of ambiguity. The fact that a statement is truthful does not mean it is not ambiguous. It I say: "I do not believe it is not going to rain", that is a truthful statement if I do not believe it is not going to rain. The question is, what do I mean when I say this? If I believed that it was going to rain that would be consistent with the statement. If I meant I have no belief one way or the other that too would be consistent with the statement. So, how do you know on the basis of the statement which one I meant?
    Fooloso4

    Of course a thing can be truthful AND ambiguous. But the statement "I do not believe any gods exist" IS NOT AMBIGUOUS.

    There ARE people who do "believe" that at least one god exists.

    I am not one of them.

    The statement, "I do not believe no gods exist.

    I am not one of them.

    I do not "believe" any gods exist...AND I do not "believe" there are no gods.

    If you cannot get that...you are no philosopher...or even close to being one.

    If you are too stupid to see the point I was making — Frank Apisa


    Of course I saw the point! I do not think it helpful to call people stupid but if I did I would say that you are the one who is stupid for your inability to see why your initial statement was ambiguous. Not believing X does not mean that you believe not-X, but that could be what you meant. I would also call you stupid for not understanding that meaning involves a great deal more than making a true statement.
    — Fool

    There was absolutely nothing ambiguous about my comments...except to someone who is not particularly bright.



    A member sent me this privately:

    'Donald Davidson argues that language competence must not simply involve learning a set meaning for each word, and then rigidly applying those semantic rules to decode other people's utterances. Rather, he says, people must also be continually making use of other contextual information to interpret the meaning of utterances, and then modifying their understanding of each word's meaning based on those interpretations.'


    When you provided further context, namely that you hold no beliefs about gods, then and only then was your statement no longer ambiguous as to what you meant.
    — Fool

    Bullshit.

    Neither was ambiguous at any point. YOU were mistaking the comment "I do not believe X"...to mean "I believe not-X"

    But, you apparently are not very bright. You thought they were contradictory.

    There is NO WAY they are contradictory.

    If you are too stupid to see the point I was making...or why I was making it...go talk with someone about movies or TV programs, because these kinds of discussions are beyond you. — Frank Apisa


    You know nothing about my educational level or training. There are several reasons why I do not make it known, but one is that it is a good source of amusement as some with little or no training in philosophy draw conclusions about me that only demonstrate their lack of education.

    If you see my statements as contradictory...which you said you did...your "educational level or training" is inadequate.
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