You can’t argue with that.

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Discussion (44)¬

  1. tfkreference says:

    You can’t argue with logic like that.

  2. tfkreference says:

    (Should have read Author’s comment before posting – another pint, Barmaid!)

  3. Son of Glenner says:

    Reminds me of someone I used to know. He could not understand that, although he was making an assertion that (his version of) God DID exist, I was not making an assertion when I did NOT believe that (his) God existed. I tried Russell’s teapot on him, but he just did not get it.

  4. Brilliant yet again, Author. What is that wonderful quote about people who know nothing being full of certainty and those who know a lot being full of doubt? Certainly applies to the religious mindset.
    The thing I find increasingly fascinating is that people get angry when you express doubt about something they believe with absolute certainty. Our doubt doesn’t make then think about it. It just gets them upset. Is that the result of cognitive dissonance? When presented with two conflicting ideas, and asked to choose between them, don’t examine evidence. Just get angry.

  5. Rusty dog says:

    My Uncle was a great man.
    He told me so himself he
    said “I am a great man”
    and you can’t argrue with
    facts like that.
    Spike Milligan.
    Really made me laugh,
    good one Author.

  6. raymondm says:

    Something which does not exist cannot be perfect. Ie, Existence is necessary for perfection.
    God is perfect.

    (That’s a real argument)

  7. Chiefy says:

    raymondm, is that the ontological argument? I have heard that line before. The problem is with the statement, “God is perfect.” It begs the question. One could just as easily state, “God is not perfect.” Then it would be proof of God’s nonexistence. Either way, the premise is unfounded.

  8. raymondm says:


  9. jb says:

    My understanding is that the Ontological Argument states that a perfect being (i.e., God) must exist by definition, because existing is more perfect than not existing, so God not existing would contradict the definition of God. Logic!

    It seems to me you could use the same argument to prove the existence of the perfect teapot (or the perfect tea party actually), but it doesn’t seem anyone cares whether those things exist.

  10. Luxi Turna says:

    > When presented with two conflicting ideas, and asked to choose between them, don’t examine evidence. Just get angry.

    Yeah, well stupid people are just LIKE that…

  11. Luxi Turna says:

    My favorite is, “I know god exists because the bible says so.”

    Stupid people: you gotta love ’em!

  12. raymondm says:

    @jb “but it doesn’t seem anyone cares whether those things exist.”

    Plato cares.

  13. Walter P. Kronkat says:

    Well, their doG may exist, but I don’t care as I do not believe in him/her/it.
    To me, it is all mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.

  14. So unfair, isn’t it. We actually think about what we can know and how we can know it and whether or not we have a right to be certain, and the wooden-headed certains do none of that so they think they win every argument.

  15. Laripu says:

    Before we talk about whether something exists, we need to know what existence means in that context. Two well understood contexts don’t work in this case: 1) existence like a physical thing (finite in time and space) and 2) existence as a theoretical object in a system of thought, e.g. like the square root of 2 exists.

    People want god to be 1) more than finite in time and space and 2) more than just a theoretical item in a human invented system.

    The ‘existence’ when applied to god has a single instantiation in that context. Of course: nothing else exists the way people want their god to exist. The problem with that is that we learn the meaning of words through multiple uses in the same context. Since there’s only one use, one instantiation, in that context, there’s no way to understand ‘exists’ in the context that contains god.

    So ‘god exists’ isn’t true or false. It’s meaningless.

  16. Mark Joseph says:

    @Darwin Harmless:

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity. (W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”)

  17. Someone says:

    You gotta hand it to psychotic zealots, they are if nothing else committed. Though they should be committed.

  18. M27Holts says:

    Any meme that gives itself a self righteous base to trump all competing memes is religious. Science memes are by nature begging to be replaced by better memes….

  19. pete says:

    There’s an infinite number of things that don’t exist.

  20. M27Holts says:

    Was it true that some families in USA have just been killed by forest fires. Staying put praying to a invisible friend. What stupid fuckers…

  21. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: “… some … have just been killed by forest fires. Staying put praying …”

    Candidates for the Darwin Awards?

  22. Efogoto says:

    M27Holts: There may have been those who prayed for safety, but others tried and just couldn’t get out fast enough.

  23. Someone says:

    Maybe religion is a form of natural selection, after all.

    Idiots believe God will save them from the oncoming natural disaster, failing to realize that it was their god who sent it in the first place. After all, there is no God but nature, but in their eyes nature is God’s will. If that’s the case, there’s not much point in praying to be saved from destruction your lord decreed.

    It’s like if they were to swim too far out to sea, get stuck in a current, and ask God to part the waters so they can walk comfortably back to shore before they drown. Never mind they chose to enter a potentially hostile environment to begin with.

    People like that are asking to be their God’s handful of peanuts.

    Now if they were trying to escape or were caught by said disaster before they had the chance, that’s different. They were trying to save themselves and were tragically lost. I am more willing to feel sympathy or empathy for those who fight or flee than those who essesntially commit suicide with no good reason.

  24. Mark Josephs, thanks for that. Those lines from Yeats may be the original source of the concept, or a variant of its statement. But it’s not the version I had in mind. I think I just turned up the the version I remember with a Google search. It seems to have come from Charles Bukowski: “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

  25. A C Harper says:

    So… a pantheon of Gods must be more likely to exist because there are more of them? False logic, again, but one that make a monotheistic (or three-in-one) god less likely.

  26. Laripu says:

    Darwin Harmless, I’m glad to know about Bukowski. Also both Charles Darwin and Bertrand Russell said or wrote similar things. I think the formalization of the idea is called the “Dunning-Kruger effect”.

    “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Russell

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than knowledge.” – Darwin–Kruger_effect

  27. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, accirding to CNN, the fire advanced “80 football fields per minute”. Odd units, but a football field is 100 yards, so the fire advanced 7315 metres/minute or 122 metres/sec.

    Add the fact that due to smoke and fire, visibility was essentially nil, so you couldn’t tell whether you were saving yourself or driving deeper into the inferno.

    Natural disasters are going to become more frequent in the coming years. I think we should be charitable to the unfortunate. Overall, the reason will be climate change, but of course believers will blame sex. They’ll think the fire was caused by rubbing two woodies together. 🙂

  28. jb says:

    Without even reading the article I can guarantee that the fire is not advancing at 122m/s — that’s as fast as a high performance race car!

    Looking at the article, it appears that they must have meant the fire was consuming the area of 80 football fields per minute, which for a very large fire seems not unreasonable. Journalists often garble anything having to do with units.

  29. M27Holts says:

    That seems unreasonably fast to me…

  30. CliffB says:

    Measures of area per minute consumed are meaningless unless we are also made aware of the fire’s frontage. A fire frontage a mile wide is advancing a lot slower than one that is 100 yards wide if they are both consuming the same area of vegetation in a minute.

  31. Stephan Brun says:

    Good old a priori reasoning. Clearly 100% reliable. 😀

  32. HelenaHandbasket says:

    I can say with 100% certainty that any monotheistic god that anyone has described to me so far is a logical impossibility.
    If logical impossibilities exist then, ok, but then let’s stop arguing about anything at all–what’s the point? We cant make any progress so lets just keep quiet and hope the universe doesn’t notice how useless we are.
    Does that mean that I can’t say that something defined in the future which has different properties than the gods described so far doesnt exist?
    No-but who cares? And I can’t rule out gnostic, manichean, or Lovercraftian gods (I maintain a shrine to Nyarlathotep in my office) either.
    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

  33. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Laripu. Those figures seem to be about 20X what seems reasonable
    (Taking these folk as reasonable )
    Being out by a factor of 20 is about the kind of figures I typically expect from journalists trying to do numbers.

  34. Laripu says:

    Helena, let’s see how to make sense of it.
    I assumed length, so maybe that’s wrong. CNN says “One fire burned an area equivalent to the size of a football field every second”. So it’s not length, it’s area: about 5000 square yards, or 4180 square meters. If the line is long enough, the width (hence speed) doesn’t need to be much for the area to be a football field.

    So you’re right about linear speed, and CNN may be right about the area.

    On a different note, do you have a nice comfy blankie in that handbasket? 🙂

    Edit to add: CliffB figured that out before me. 🙂 and jb too.

  35. pink squirrel says:

    ‘god’ cannot exist in an infinite qauntum universe because there has to be at least one where no ‘god’ exists – and therefore that particular universe was not ‘created’ by ‘god’ and if one universe CAN be created without ‘god’ therefore it follows they all were created without ‘god’

  36. Son of Glenner says:

    pink squirrel: You had me worried there, trying to puzzle it out, before I realised it was a joke. Sorry, I’m a very old man and slow on the uptake.

  37. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Laripu. That seems more reasonable California is about 10^8 acres, a football field is about 1 1/3 acre so 80/ minute gives us a non-insane figure.
    Now the question is to work out what causes are there for this event that extol the God-Emperor Trump, and his mighty will.

  38. M27Holts says:

    Tinder…..dry wood and a naked……flame….

  39. postdoggerel says:

    pink squirrel

    goedel’s theory of incompleteness
    in its not so obvious concreteness
    gives the lie to logic
    a kind of illogic
    disturbingly with logical neatness

    if the universe is truly infinite
    then anything goes there within it
    you get contradictions
    false convictions and fictions
    to the same degree as you spin it

    what you can’t prove is called incomplete
    or consistency is not so replete
    when you prove it, alas,
    the truth comes to pass
    and your argument takes the back seat

    what the quantum world tells us, I think,
    is that even blue squirrels can be pink
    and if that were true
    jesus wasn’t a jew
    and horses could be led to drink

  40. Troubleshooter says:

    It is impossible to debate a man who will not handicap himself with a knowledge of the facts.
    — Anon.

  41. Apparently that California fire is now being blamed on….wait for it… Canada. That’s the latest from the dumpster fire POTUS. Apparently we are selling our logs too cheaply, so logs are just left lying around on the forest floor in California. I guess they are too heavy to rake, as the Finns apparently do.

  42. Laripu says:

    Troubleshooter, it’s even worse. It is impossible to debate a man whose livelihood depends on his own wilful ignorance.

    DH, nothing short of impeachment, conviction, and removal from office will put out the dumpster fire.

  43. M27Holts says:

    The American majority of numbskulls have EXACTLY the correct president that represents their dim witted, theocratic, nationalistic mindset…Second term nailed on unless they make a basic science test a prerequisite to being allowed to vote…

  44. Troubleshooter says:

    Laripu, being the quote-monger that I am, there is a corollary to your statement, to wit:

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
    — Upton Sinclair


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