Re: virus: Faith (consolidation)

John \ (
Wed, 28 May 1997 19:59:58 -0400

>>As far as "physically impossible," Santa may be physically impossible, but
>>Santa is rather well defined. God -- for the purposes of Athiesm -- is not;
>>and the "physically impossible" argument cannot apply:
>When God is not explicitly defined you can safely assume the common
>definition: an entity that is all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly good.


You can "safely assume?" Why? I'm not following here. If an Athiest
believes in no-God, then an Athiest believes in NO GOD. Not "that
particular variation of a God."

>>1) The Iranaean version of God created the Universe, and all physical laws.
>>He has the power to violate them at will, since he is their author and not
>>bound by them.
>Fine. But if this version is detectable (affects the universe in any way)
>then the claim that it exists enters the realm of science.

But does not make it subjective to physics, which is the point.

>Is Whitehead's God detectable? Does His existence imply anything? If so,
>then the claim that He exists is a scientific claim and therefore refutable
>in theory.

Refutable in theory? Demonstrate. Give me cases where it could be evidenced
that God -- any God -- can not exist.

>>On the basis of (1), physical possibility is not an issue. To claim that it
>>is physically impossible for something to exist outside of physics is
>>subject to the same "ignorance of Physics" statement in (2), and, besides,
>>is circular reasoning. Kinda like using the Bible to prove the Bible.
>Question: would you say I am taking an illogical position by claiming that
>there does not exist a living adult blue whale in my office?

1) You can argue from experience. You, sitting there, can see there is no
blue whale.[1]
2) A Blue Whale is a concretely defined, clearly stated being. Your office
is a finite space, most likely smaller than a blue whale.
3) It fulfills the requirements of a scientific statement: The hypothosis
(there is a Blue Whale in David McF's office) can be proven. If we see a
Blue Whale there, there is a Blue Whale there. It can be reasonably
disproven. If there is no Blue Whale visable, it's not there.

Note that it is impossible to prove that there is not a non-corporeal,
invisible Living Blue Whale in your office, however.

The statement "There is no God" can not be a scientific statement, because
there is no way to prove the non-existence of God; just as the statement
"There is no Living Blue Whale in anyone's office, anywhere in the
universe" is a non-scientific statement. I mean, how would you check?

>Don't confuse belief in the non-existence of something with absolute
>Just because I don't believe God exists now doesn't mean I don't allow for
>the possibility that I will have to re-examine that belief in the light of
>newly discovered physical laws. You seem to be attributing atheists with faith
>when they have only rational assent.

No; I am attributing Athiests with the proper belief. Your position makes
you Agnostic; an Agnostic of the "Not enough data to determine" flavor.

Oh: you can say that you don't believe in God because there's not enough
evidence yet. But an Athiest claims that there will *be* no evidence,
because there IS NO GOD. So you remain an Agnostic.


[1] Having no emperical evidence, I'll have to take your word for it.
[2] Proofs against something that take an infinite amount of time are not
reasonable proofs.

John Williams
Your Message Here...
"See my loafers? Former gophers!"