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An Argument Against "Nothing Can be Proven"

xXCryptoXx
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8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.

I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.
Nolite Timere
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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8/19/2014 8:42:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.

Just because some one is an atheist doesn't mean they will be technically precise when they say something like "one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven" what they probably have in mind is that their is insufficient justification to believe that "God" exists.


I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.

Are there any other conceptions of God that you think are backed up by reason and evidence or is only your conception of God.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Morality
Posts: 135
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8/19/2014 1:24:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.
You don't follow your path to its logical conclusion. I actually agree with you, in that since Premise 1 cannot be proven, one can believe in something that doesn't need to be proven.

However this means that anything and everything one can think of can be believed. While believing in God no longer becomes irrational, neither does being atheist, as neither one needs to be proven. Christianity, at that point, have equal validity.

I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.

You have yet to prove it with reason or evidence.
xXCryptoXx
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8/19/2014 4:15:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/19/2014 8:42:12 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.

Just because some one is an atheist doesn't mean they will be technically precise when they say something like "one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven"

I agree. The point of this thread is to rebut those who do argue that one should not believe in God due to the lack of proof, unlike science. I find that there are many non-theists that hold this position, but I certainly do not believe such a position in inherent to non-theism.

what they probably have in mind is that their is insufficient justification to believe that "God" exists.


I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.

Are there any other conceptions of God that you think are backed up by reason and evidence or is only your conception of God.

Well as a Realist, I believe there is only one objective reality. That being said, there cannot be different conceptions of God, or else God really would not be God at all. I think many things are backed up by reason, including both atheism and theism, but despite them both being backed up to a certain degree of reason, only one view can be objectively correct since both worldviews are in conflict with each other.
Nolite Timere
xXCryptoXx
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8/19/2014 4:22:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/19/2014 1:24:40 PM, Morality wrote:
At 8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.
You don't follow your path to its logical conclusion. I actually agree with you, in that since Premise 1 cannot be proven, one can believe in something that doesn't need to be proven.

However this means that anything and everything one can think of can be believed.

Exactly! That is, all beliefs must be backed up by reason and presuppositions, but not necessarily proof. Therefore, if one can show that the concept of God is a reasonable position to hold, even if it lacks proof, then it is also reasonable to believe in God.

While believing in God no longer becomes irrational, neither does being atheist, as neither one needs to be proven. Christianity, at that point, have equal validity.

Precisely. Atheists that take the position that one should only believe in what can be proven are defeated, because my argument takes atheism down to the same level as theism. That is that if the positions are provided with reason even if they lack proof, then it is still reasonable to believe in that position. The argument moves from the claim that atheism is more valid, to both positions are equally valid.

I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.

You have yet to prove it with reason or evidence.

The point is not that I must provide reason or evidence for God. my argument is not set out to prove the existence of God, but only that such a position can be reasonably held.
Nolite Timere
Morality
Posts: 135
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8/19/2014 6:35:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/19/2014 4:22:44 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:

Exactly! That is, all beliefs must be backed up by reason and presuppositions, but not necessarily proof. Therefore, if one can show that the concept of God is a reasonable position to hold, even if it lacks proof, then it is also reasonable to believe in God.

You have yet to prove why it is more reasonable however. Every religion, along with atheism, would have equal validity and thus have equal reason to believe in them.


Precisely. Atheists that take the position that one should only believe in what can be proven are defeated, because my argument takes atheism down to the same level as theism.
The main problem is that you haven't provided sufficient reason to believe in Christianity rather than anything else, including atheism. Following the train of thought you are using doesn't really achieve anything as it validates everyone's view on everything.

That is that if the positions are provided with reason even if they lack proof, then it is still reasonable to believe in that position. The argument moves from the claim that atheism is more valid, to both positions are equally valid.
They are, in this train of thought, but I prefer to assume the first provision is true in of within itself, no reason required, as it allows a world view to actually form..


The point is not that I must provide reason or evidence for God. my argument is not set out to prove the existence of God, but only that such a position can be reasonably held.
It also validates every political position from Nazism to Totalitarian Stalinism.
xXCryptoXx
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8/19/2014 8:42:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/19/2014 6:35:31 PM, Morality wrote:
At 8/19/2014 4:22:44 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:

Exactly! That is, all beliefs must be backed up by reason and presuppositions, but not necessarily proof. Therefore, if one can show that the concept of God is a reasonable position to hold, even if it lacks proof, then it is also reasonable to believe in God.

You have yet to prove why it is more reasonable however. Every religion, along with atheism, would have equal validity and thus have equal reason to believe in them.


Precisely. Atheists that take the position that one should only believe in what can be proven are defeated, because my argument takes atheism down to the same level as theism.
The main problem is that you haven't provided sufficient reason to believe in Christianity rather than anything else, including atheism. Following the train of thought you are using doesn't really achieve anything as it validates everyone's view on everything.

That is that if the positions are provided with reason even if they lack proof, then it is still reasonable to believe in that position. The argument moves from the claim that atheism is more valid, to both positions are equally valid.
They are, in this train of thought, but I prefer to assume the first provision is true in of within itself, no reason required, as it allows a world view to actually form..


The point is not that I must provide reason or evidence for God. my argument is not set out to prove the existence of God, but only that such a position can be reasonably held.
It also validates every political position from Nazism to Totalitarian Stalinism.

I am not trying to prove any particular belief true; I am only saying that any argument that requires proof in order to believe it is ultimately flawed. The syllogism could be reworded as so:

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. Belief X is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in belief X.

Now, someone should only believe in something to the extent that it provides reason and evidence. So I am not saying it is just as logical to believe in Nazism as it is to believe in Christianity, since both beliefs may have varying degrees of rationality to them. However, even without proof that Nazism works/is good or that Christianity is true one can logically believe in them because they are backed up by reason.
Nolite Timere
Morality
Posts: 135
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8/20/2014 1:22:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/19/2014 8:42:08 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 8/19/2014 6:35:31 PM, Morality wrote:
At 8/19/2014 4:22:44 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:

Exactly! That is, all beliefs must be backed up by reason and presuppositions, but not necessarily proof. Therefore, if one can show that the concept of God is a reasonable position to hold, even if it lacks proof, then it is also reasonable to believe in God.

You have yet to prove why it is more reasonable however. Every religion, along with atheism, would have equal validity and thus have equal reason to believe in them.


Precisely. Atheists that take the position that one should only believe in what can be proven are defeated, because my argument takes atheism down to the same level as theism.
The main problem is that you haven't provided sufficient reason to believe in Christianity rather than anything else, including atheism. Following the train of thought you are using doesn't really achieve anything as it validates everyone's view on everything.

That is that if the positions are provided with reason even if they lack proof, then it is still reasonable to believe in that position. The argument moves from the claim that atheism is more valid, to both positions are equally valid.
They are, in this train of thought, but I prefer to assume the first provision is true in of within itself, no reason required, as it allows a world view to actually form..


The point is not that I must provide reason or evidence for God. my argument is not set out to prove the existence of God, but only that such a position can be reasonably held.
It also validates every political position from Nazism to Totalitarian Stalinism.

I am not trying to prove any particular belief true; I am only saying that any argument that requires proof in order to believe it is ultimately flawed. The syllogism could be reworded as so:

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. Belief X is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in belief X.

Now, someone should only believe in something to the extent that it provides reason and evidence. So I am not saying it is just as logical to believe in Nazism as it is to believe in Christianity, since both beliefs may have varying degrees of rationality to them. However, even without proof that Nazism works/is good or that Christianity is true one can logically believe in them because they are backed up by reason.

Except, as you said, P1 cannot be proven by reason or evidence, thus it is false, and all positions can be held regardless of reason or logic. I prefer to just assume that P1 is true, even if it isn't, so that we can make sense of things.
Double_R
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8/22/2014 9:57:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.

I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.

Understood properly, both syllogisms are exactly the same.

One of the most common problems with debates over the existence of God is the way the word "proof" gets thrown around. Proof is a result to be achieved. The word does not describe what the standard of that result must be. Think of it in terms of courtroom standards; you can prove something beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond a shadow of a doubt (which I'd say is impossible), to the preponderance of evidence, etc...

So when used in debates the common tactic of the person who has the burden of proof and yet cannot shoulder it, is to make it seem as if the standard is necessarily absolute certainty, thus the burden is meaningless, thus the fact that the burden can't be met is irrelevant and any attempt to meet it is self defeating. That is all of course nonsense because 99% of the time the challenger is not asking for certainty, they're just asking it to be proven to a reasonable extent. I think most of us would suggest to the preponderance of evidence to be more than sufficient.
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/22/2014 10:12:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 9:57:44 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.

I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.

Understood properly, both syllogisms are exactly the same.

One of the most common problems with debates over the existence of God is the way the word "proof" gets thrown around. Proof is a result to be achieved. The word does not describe what the standard of that result must be. Think of it in terms of courtroom standards; you can prove something beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond a shadow of a doubt (which I'd say is impossible), to the preponderance of evidence, etc...

There is something that can be proven without a shadow of a doubt; mind. If you doubt that mind exists then you have just proved that mind exists beyond a shadow of a doubt because doubt is a mental action. Ergo, the existence of a mental world cannot be doubted without essentially refuting yourself.


So when used in debates the common tactic of the person who has the burden of proof and yet cannot shoulder it, is to make it seem as if the standard is necessarily absolute certainty, thus the burden is meaningless, thus the fact that the burden can't be met is irrelevant and any attempt to meet it is self defeating. That is all of course nonsense because 99% of the time the challenger is not asking for certainty, they're just asking it to be proven to a reasonable extent. I think most of us would suggest to the preponderance of evidence to be more than sufficient.
xXCryptoXx
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8/23/2014 11:40:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 9:57:44 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.

I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.

Understood properly, both syllogisms are exactly the same.

One of the most common problems with debates over the existence of God is the way the word "proof" gets thrown around. Proof is a result to be achieved. The word does not describe what the standard of that result must be. Think of it in terms of courtroom standards; you can prove something beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond a shadow of a doubt (which I'd say is impossible), to the preponderance of evidence, etc...

I agree. I don't mean proof in the sense of absolute proof, but rather in the sense of a sort of scientific proof.

So when used in debates the common tactic of the person who has the burden of proof and yet cannot shoulder it, is to make it seem as if the standard is necessarily absolute certainty, thus the burden is meaningless, thus the fact that the burden can't be met is irrelevant and any attempt to meet it is self defeating. That is all of course nonsense because 99% of the time the challenger is not asking for certainty, they're just asking it to be proven to a reasonable extent. I think most of us would suggest to the preponderance of evidence to be more than sufficient.
Nolite Timere
Double_R
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8/23/2014 12:31:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/23/2014 11:40:53 AM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 9:57:44 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.

I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.

Understood properly, both syllogisms are exactly the same.

One of the most common problems with debates over the existence of God is the way the word "proof" gets thrown around. Proof is a result to be achieved. The word does not describe what the standard of that result must be. Think of it in terms of courtroom standards; you can prove something beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond a shadow of a doubt (which I'd say is impossible), to the preponderance of evidence, etc...

I agree. I don't mean proof in the sense of absolute proof, but rather in the sense of a sort of scientific proof.

Then the syllogism still does not attack any relevant position. If we substitute "proof" with "scientific proof", then it is saying that P1 cannot be scientifically proven. That of course is silly because P1 is a philosophical position. No one is arguing that it is scientifically provable.
xXCryptoXx
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8/24/2014 12:27:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/23/2014 12:31:46 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 8/23/2014 11:40:53 AM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 9:57:44 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 8/18/2014 8:56:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Many of the times I see non-theists state that one should not believe in God because the existence of God cannot be proven. I find this to be a very illogical stance to take. After all, ultimately all beliefs must be based on presuppositions of what cannot be proven. In fact, the stance is self defeating.

P1. Individuals should only believe in what can be proven.
P2. Premise 1 cannot be proven.
C1. Therefore individuals should not believe premise 1 is true.

I think the better stance would be that people should only believe in things that are backed up by reason or evidence, but this certainly applies to God also.

P1. Individuals should believe in what is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
P2. The existence of God is backed up by reason and/or evidence.
C1. Therefore individuals should believe in God.

Understood properly, both syllogisms are exactly the same.

One of the most common problems with debates over the existence of God is the way the word "proof" gets thrown around. Proof is a result to be achieved. The word does not describe what the standard of that result must be. Think of it in terms of courtroom standards; you can prove something beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond a shadow of a doubt (which I'd say is impossible), to the preponderance of evidence, etc...

I agree. I don't mean proof in the sense of absolute proof, but rather in the sense of a sort of scientific proof.

Then the syllogism still does not attack any relevant position. If we substitute "proof" with "scientific proof", then it is saying that P1 cannot be scientifically proven. That of course is silly because P1 is a philosophical position. No one is arguing that it is scientifically provable.

In that case, make it scientifically/philosophically proven. This just strengthen the position against anyone who holds the stance that one should not believe in something unless it is proven, since the concept of God can in a sense be philosophically proven. Although most people would argue that that one shouldn't believe in God because he cannot be scientifically proven.
Nolite Timere