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Thursday, 7 July 2011

Proving Your God Should Be Simple

Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, in fact all theists have a very simple task if they want to convince us their god did something. Having decided on your evidence, there are only two steps:
  1. Show beyond a reasonable doubt that a natural explanation for it is impossible. If it’s not, there is no reason to invoke a supernatural one.
  2. Having so shown the only explanation is a supernatural one, show beyond a reasonable doubt that the only supernatural explanation is whichever god you are trying to show did it.
And that’s it. Easy-peasy.

So simple, it’s the work of a few minutes, especially since you must have gone through this process yourself to arrive at your belief... didn’t you?

In fact, it’s so simple, I’m puzzled that no one has ever done it.

[Later note: It seems many Creationists are struggling with the concept of evidence and so imagine quotes from a book of dubious provenance constitutes evidence. The following links provide useful information on this subject;

http://anotheratheist.tumblr.com/post/4050923890
http://anotheratheist.tumblr.com/post/5524880161

(Thanks to @kaimatai on Twitter for providing these helpful link)]


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24 comments:

  1. Faith. Doubt. Even proof. They're all subject to human interpretation. Key word is subjectivity.

    We only perceive the Qniverse from one perspective. Our own!

    You seem so set on demonstrating your own views, but I've not seen you trying to understand those of your targets.

    I wonder if you'll permit this comment? :-)

    ohcheers.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your sanctimonious, condescending twaddle.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Ohcheers.

    If you need to take a dump can you do it elsewhere in future, please.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So here is the blog post I promised. Your behaviour on Twitter, and a look at your blog and the number of 'deleted' comments underneath your blogposts and the way you respond to them, make me cautious to what extent you are actually open to debate. Nonetheless, I'll try and see how far we get.

    Some ground rules however. a) Internet debates have a wonderful way of getting off topic, thus I will tend to prefer to choose one key issue and hone in as the debate continues. This means at some point either one of us will need to concede, rather than debating 3-4 issues and allowing room for avoiding arguments and key issues. b) I do not spend every waking moment of my life on the internet, therefore I may take a few days, perhaps sometimes longer, responding to posts. If you insist on taking the slightest delay as a sign you've "won" and begin ungratious celebrations followed by insults (as on Twitter), I don't think we're going to get very far. c) Finally, let's be at least honest with ourselves in the debate. A Muslim scholar once wrote "before every debate I pray that truth is found. If truth is found on my lips and on my tongue, then I hope my opponent will follow it from me. If however truth is found on his lips and on his tongue, I hope I have the strength to take it from him and follow him." I think this is an important aspect of any debate, the pursuit of truth, and not just point scoring or trying to win an argument.

    Now on to the actual post.

    Your final statement is ironic - "In fact, it’s so simple, I’m puzzled that no one has ever done it". It's ironic because you're not the first person to think of such a 'process' as you describe it, nor is it original.

    Similar challenges are set to mankind in all three of the holy texts of the Abrahamic traditions.

    In the Quran, is the simple statement: -

    “If you are in doubt of what We have revealed to Our messenger, then produce one chapter like it. Call upon all your helpers, besides Allah, if you are truthful” Qur'an Chapter 2 Verse 23.

    So God challenges mankind to offer a natural explanation of the Quran itself. It is essentially the reverse version of your 'process'.

    The Quran is a unique book, and it is the miracle sent with the Prophet Muhammad. Whereas Jesus had his healing miracles, Moses his staff and so on. The Prophet Muhammad's miracle was the Quran.

    This site is a good place to start:
    http://www.theinimitablequran.com/index.html

    Another, secondary, indication of the Quran's supernatural nature is its accuracy in describing natural phenomena unknown to man at the time of revelation.

    Some can be found here: -

    On the Universe: -
    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/revelation/part_4_section_5.html

    On embryological development in the womb: -
    http://www.islamicmedicine.org/embryoengtext.htm

    So therein lies my response to your process. The Quran is a phenomena that needs a supernatural explanation, it is beyond mankinds ability to even imitate - as you don't speak Arabic, I've provided a more accessible evidence - that of the Quran describing recent scientific discoveries (re: universe and embryology).

    If you can provide a natural explanation for the scientific evidences, then you've proven me wrong.

    All the best,

    ReplyDelete
  7. You appear to believe quotes from the Quran are evidence. I DID suggest you should read those links I gave you so you had a clear understanding of what evidence is. You seem to have ignored that advice.

    Can I suggest you go back and read the blog again to get a clear understanding of what your task was.

    You have failed to address the first point at all: Show beyond a reasonable doubt that no natural explanation of your 'evidence' is possible.

    To do this you first need to state what your evidence actually is, i.e., the piece of authenticated, verified physical datum you are trying to prove your god caused.

    It follows from that failure that you have not even attempted to prove beyond reasonable doubt that no other god could have caused it and that your god is the only possible explanation.

    As it is, you appear to have merely taken the opportunity to spam my blog with quotes from the Quran which neither deal with the subject nor progress the argument.

    You are welcome to try again, but please try to credit me and the readers of this blog with a little more intelligence than to assume we don't know what you are being asked to do.

    ps. The only comments I have removed from this blog have been those which are either abusive or have abused the blog by using it as a vehicle for preaching.

    It seems to be characteristic of religious fundamentalists that they regard themselves as exempt from the rules of normal polite behaviour in debate.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I believe your avoiding the crux of my blog post.

    The action I refer to is the revelation of the Quran. That it is of divine, not human, origin.

    I have provided several arguments as to how the Quran requires a supernatural explanation.

    I left out the part in the middle (showing that a natural explanation is not possible) as it leaves you room to debunk my thesis by providing one.

    If you insist however, here is the middle part made explicit.

    a)The scientific accuracy of the Quran in describing the creation of the universe/embryology etc... is beyond mankinds knowledge 1400 years ago.
    b) The probablity that such features could be described by guesswork is impossible.
    c) The earliest extant preserved copies of the Quran date from 20 years after the death of the Prophet, so no recent additions or changes could have been made to include the recent scientific discovery.

    There you go.

    I hope you will engage with my argument now, rather than passing it over as "not real evidence" and "you don't understand science".

    Regards,

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have ignored the crux of your post because your post doesn't address the subject of the blog. Instead, you have used it to preach and have not even pretended to provide the evidence you claimed you would provide or to meet the challenge the blog issues and which you claimed on Twitter that you could easily meet.

    As I said, you are welcome to try again but please refrain from abusing my blog with preaching and spamming with Quranic quotes irrelevant to the subject.

    Again, I suggest you familiarise your self with the challenge you are purporting to be answering and the definition of 'evidence' which seems to be a mystery to you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So this debate went far. I respond to your 'challenge'. You claim I haven't.

    My evidence was clearly cited - the accuracy of the Quran in describing the natural world beyond man's capability 1400 years ago.

    Apparently now I'm 'preaching' - which means I've suddenly qualified to be deleted from your blog right?

    I have met very few people as contradictory as you - for all your pride in logic and reason, you apply none.

    I met, debated and discussed with dozens of atheists; whose intelligence, openess and search for truth have impressed me to no end. You do them a disservice.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Responding to a challenge is more than just posting some unrelated words.

    You respond to a challenge by dealing with the subject of the challenge and fullfilling it's requirements.

    You needed to show:

    1) The evidence upon which you were relying

    2) Why no natural explanation is possible

    3) Why only your god, and no other, is the only possible explanation.

    You have done none of these, as anyone can see for themselves.

    Claiming to have done so either shows you do not understand the basics of debate and reason or you assume we are too stupid to see you've utterly failed to answer the challenge.

    I'll leave others to decide which.

    ReplyDelete
  12. 1) The evidence upon which you were relying

    Clearly indicated, making it more explicit would become a farce.

    2) Why no natural explanation is possible

    Also done - made explicit in my second blog post.

    3) Why only your god, and no other, is the only possible explanation.

    This part is your own misunderstanding of world faiths and I see no need to give you a lesson in theology. All your blog posts on religion betray the superficial understanding of faith exhibited by those who put too much weight by Richard Dawkins.

    The dominant world view of theists is not a world in which there are 'correct gods' and 'false gods'. Rather, that there is 'one god' (even in 'polytheistic' traditions such as the Hindu traditions). Thus there is no need to prove 'my God' is right and 'your God' is wrong.

    It's a subtle point so I presume you will gloss over it and throw accusations at me instead, as is your habit from the looks of things.

    The most bizarre thing is that since it is the Quran we are referring to, it should be clear which religious tradition I am talking from, and thus answer your third point.

    Are you actually even reading my posts?!

    ReplyDelete
  13. So your inexplicable, authenticated, validated datum is that there is a book held to be holy by a minority of the world's people.

    And there is no possible natural explanation for this book despite the known fact that it ws written by a man....

    Can you REALLY not see a problem there?

    Moving on...

    How do you know this book can't possibly have a natural explanation? It says in the book that a god inspired it therefore it can't have been natural.

    Presumably then, ANY book in which the author says 'magic' words to the effect that he/she was inspired by a god to write it, becomes inexplicable other than by inspiration by a god.

    Do you really not see a problem there?

    Do you not see that your argument 'for' your god requires an a priori acceptance that your god exists? Unless you make that assumption, and then go on the assume the words in the book were inspired by your god, your evidence for your god is no more authentic and verified than any other unsubstantiated assertion made by any other author in any other books.

    And indeed we hear EXACTLY the same argument put forward by Christians, by Mormons, by Sikhs, by Hindus, all dependent on the assumption that their god or gods exist and inspired their book.

    And there is never any evidence offered up for the existence of their god either, other than the infantile claim that it must be true because it says so in their book, which is unique in that respect.

    If it said in Peter Pan or Harry Potter that they are real and the book is a message from a good, would you REALLY believe in them too?

    If not, please explain why your logic can change according to the needs of your argument?

    Lastly, where is your evidence that this god was your god and no other?

    Guess what? It says so in your book...

    I really don't know if your really ARE that naive and lacking in critical thinking skills, or whether you are hoping the readers of this blog are.

    Personally, I find it astonishing that a grown adult can be so naive as to believe that simply stating in a book that it is all true somehow makes everything in it true beyond question.

    Clearly, there must be some other psychological process going on here which inhibits rational thought.

    Maybe you would benefit from reading a few more of my blogs.

    The Evolution of Gods: http://rosarubicondior.blogspot.com/2010/07/evolution-of-god-hypothesis.html

    The Evolution of Gullibility:
    http://rosarubicondior.blogspot.com/2011/05/evolution-of-gullibility.html

    Is Religion a Phobia?:
    http://rosarubicondior.blogspot.com/2011/05/is-religion-phobia.html

    They may help you understand how you found yourself in your current state.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Divinely inspired" holy books can not be used as proof for a god that "inspired" it as explained on my own blog: https://atheistthought.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/the-bible-a-logical-fallacy/

    To do so would be to commit a circular reasoning fallacy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 1. Show beyond a reasonable doubt that a natural explanation is impossible. If it’s not, there is no reason to invoke a supernatural one.

    If God is the First Cause, He is the source of nature (lowercase). Therefore He could be said to be NATURE (uppercase), as the First Cause, by definition, must include the fullness of everything that came from It. So if God created nature from which the Universe arose, that IS a NATURAL explanation. So, there is no need to explain things as either supernatural or natural. In the end, they are one and the same (although you may not be able to duplicate via your current understanding what God is capable of doing through His superior knowledge of everything He created).

    If you ask where did my First Cause came from. While I think it ultimately has to go back to a single cause and then go no further, the answer to that doesn't really matter. If God was actually created (which I mention strictly as a hypothetical), it doesn't mean He is not the creator of this universe or that He hasn't revealed Himself sufficiently to man. Just sayin'.

    Now, as you have failed to do on twitter (and I don't hold that against you because of the character limit), tell me where YOU think everything came from. Where did the Big Bang (the matter and energy evidenced by it come from?


    2. Having shown the only explanation is a supernatural one, show beyond a reasonable doubt that the only supernatural explanation is whichever god you are trying to show did it.

    Big question ... with what I believe to be substantial (but extremely involved answers that require comparative religious dialog to deal with). However, unless we agree there is indeed a God, I don't see the point in hashing this one out with an atheist. I would, however, be willing to hash it out with, say, a Muslim at some point in some other venue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >If God is the First Cause, He is the source of nature (lowercase). <

      In what way does this address the question posed please? Your task here was to show that a natural explanation for your evidence is impossible. You have merely asserted an assumption which has nothing to do with the question.

      >Big question<

      Indeed. And small answer. I'm afraid your beliefs are irrelevant. What we are discussing is the evidence upon which you claim them to be based. I really don't see what the difficulty is here, since, presumably, your beliefs ARE based on evidence, aren't they?

      When you have managed to answer the first part of the question rather than evading it, we can move on to this one.

      BTW, you need to start with the evidence you are citing BEFORE explaining why it can have no natural explanation - note, that;s not the same thing as having an explanation which YOU know about or understand, or even accept. That's no POSSIBLE natural explanation.

      Take a day or two if you need them.

      Delete
  16. --------------------------------------
    >If God is the First Cause, He is the source of nature (lowercase). <

    In what way does this address the question posed please? Your task here was to show that a natural explanation for your evidence is impossible. You have merely asserted an assumption which has nothing to do with the question.

    ---------------------------------------

    Your pre-requisites for me defending my faith are incorrect. For me to waste my time answering your ill-conceived question would be fruitless. Your questions assume that there is the Natural and the Supernatural. That is not an assumption I hold, and I do not think they are relevant to proving my belief in a Creator.

    As usual, you have failed to answer my question.

    Take a few days to work on it if you need to.


    As for the rest of your blathering, until you answer MY question, I am going to go ahead and assume you are the typical atheist who is better at casting dispersions than actually answering questions.

    @NoisyMajority

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see you've abandoned any pretence of being able to provide a single scrap of definitive evidence for any god, let alone yours, and have had to run and hide from this simple challenge, trying to cover your tracks with a smokescreen of abuse.

      Strange that as you seemed so confident when you were boasting about being able to do so in Twitter.

      How typically creationist.

      Has it never occurred to you that if you don't know what evidence convinced you you don't actually know why you have your superstition, and if you DO know then you should have no difficulty in telling people what it is and where it may be found.

      Sorry to have embarrassed you so publicly. If you know what it is, I hope you're not too ashamed, though it would be nice to think you had the common decency to be. I know I would be if I ever thought I needed to defend my beliefs with the tactics you seem so proud of.

      Maybe one day you'll have the honesty and integrity to admit to yourself why you need to have your 'faith' to excuse your obnoxious behaviour and condescending bigotry.

      Delete
  17. "Show beyond a reasonable doubt that a natural explanation is impossible. If it’s not, there is no reason to invoke a supernatural one."

    Well, science does not know the origin of life. There are theories, but they are all impossible by any reasonable definition. Most agree that just the right molecules aligning together by 'pure chance' is not possible. In fact, someone calculated that if all the atoms of the observable universe were white, except one which was red, that the odds a blind man would pick the red one are far better than life occurring by chance.

    That means there must be some sort of natural bias towards life forming; such as an unknown natural force. But alas, it is still 'unknown'.

    Therefore, a natural explanation is impossible.

    "Having so shown the only explanation is a supernatural one, show beyond a reasonable doubt that the only supernatural explanation is whichever god you are trying to show did it."

    * DNA is a code.
    * We know the origin of all other codes comes from an intelligence.
    * Therefore DNA code comes from an intelligence.

    The above logic is inductive. That is, it could be wrong. However, if science were to follow the evidence, it would accept that it is far more likely that life has a creator.

    Note this logic does not prove a specific God. Just a creator.

    > And that’s it. Easy-peasy.

    Yes it is.

    > In fact, it’s so simple, I’m puzzled that no one has ever done it.

    I am not. Most people don't want to accept that there is a creator, because then they have to accept that there is a 'boss' they have to listen to. They want to live their life according to their rules. Not unlike a rebellious child who wants to eat candy all the time and stay up late every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice list of excuses. Did it take you long to make them up or have you been practicing them?

      Thanks for showing that you can't prove your god exists, BTW.

      Delete
    2. BTW, I almost forgot to say that the fallacies you're trying are:

      The straw man fallacy - where you attack an infantile parody of something because you either know you can't attack the real thing, or because you don't understand it.

      The argument from ignorance - where we are expected to assume anything YOU don't know isn't known by anyone.

      God of the gaps - where we are expected to assume that if something is unknown, it must have been done by a magic man using magic

      The false dichotomy fallacy - where we are expected to assume that if science can be made to look wrong the only alternative is that it must have been the locally popular god.

      Do you remember who fooled you with these fallacies, or did you know they were tricks to fool ignorant and gullible people with before you typed them out?

      Delete
  18. "Well, science does not know the origin of life. There are theories, but they are all impossible by any reasonable definition." - I assume that means you don't understand them. I on the other hand find the current theories very reasonable and plausible. We 'evolutionists' accept we may not know the full details but the evidence indicates we are going in the right direction.

    "* DNA is a code.
    * We know the origin of all other codes comes from an intelligence.
    * Therefore DNA code comes from an intelligence." - Actually DNA is a sequence not a code. As you suggest the word 'code' would imply it was designed by an individual. A sequence is an entirely different matter. You can throw a coin 100 times and get a sequence of heads or tails. You would not call that sequence a code - it's random. Of course you could always suggest that 'God controls the sequence' but that primitive argument was the basis of trial by ordeal things like witch ducking ('God will save an innocent person'). Surely you cant believe in that.

    I'm sorry but I see no evidence that life had a creator. If there were a creator who designed all life then he/she/it has an unspeakably malevolent mind because he/she/it designed some horrible life forms such as the ichneumon wasp which eats it's prey alive after first destroying, not it's pain receptors, it's defence mechanism or it's ability to flee, but instead it's will to escape. If we did this to another animal we would be considered evil. Are you seriously suggesting we should worship a god who designed such creatures? It's far more reasonable to believe such animals came about by random evolution which has no concept of good and evil.

    ReplyDelete

Obscene, threatening or obnoxious messages, preaching, abuse and spam will be removed, as will anything by known Internet trolls and stalkers.

A claim made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Remember: your opinion is not an established fact unless corroborated.

Sorry but the spammers are back so I've had to restrict who can post again.

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