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'It's just my opinion'


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#91    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:53 PM

View PostLeonardo, on 05 September 2013 - 09:21 PM, said:

No, we stumbled across that quite some time ago when you conflated divinity with leprechauns.

No, technically I analogized them, not conflated; I'm making a comparison, not merging them.  The stumble seems to have occurred because you are using a non-standard definition of 'divinity' that I overlooked initially.

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You struggle to understand my point because of your insistence that "definition" has to mean "has a beard, wears red trousers, etc". Existence and/or non-existence is part of a definition.

Yes, but it is impossible to determine or even discuss if something does exist or non-exist if it is not first defined. Tell me, do kerzuxes exist, do you find that to even be a meaningful question?  You're not going to now be inconsistent and 'insist' on a definition are you?

I never insisted that a definition has to mean a complete description, but leprechauns and divinity do mean something.  A leprechaun is not a Kraken and divinity is not bad breath, and we know that because both leprechaun and divinity do have some attributes or definition.

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Consider, in analogy, a group of beings who are debating whether "humanity" exists. This "humanity" is alleged to be a different group of supposedly intelligent creatures, however no evidence for any intelligent beings (apart from the debaters) has ever been discovered. There are also factions within the debaters who believe "humanity" exists, and who have rather specific definitions for what those "humans" are like, their natures and attributes. Not all of these definitions agree, and some are even contradictory.

Is the definition of "humanity" the concatenation of all the definitions those factions of believers have, or is it simply "supposedly intelligent beings who are rumoured to exist"? Are those who do not believe these undiscovered beings exist not entitled to issue a description of them which includes "does not exist"?

If for some reason we must arrive at one 'definition' to rule them all, then I'd say it's the opposite, the definition of humanity is probably the attributes that most of these debaters agree on, which sounds like it's just a different group of supposedly intelligent creatures, who it has been proposed may possess qualities A,B, and/or C.  In your scenario here, as soon as we have some agreement on what qualities these debaters agree humanity possesses, then it is not valid to then define it as having no characteristics at all and that it can be everything or nothing.

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And so, in the objective sense the definition of "humanity" to that entire group of debaters is "supposedly intelligent beings who may, or may not, exist but for whom no evidence has been found."?
'
In the objective sense things are complicated because words can have multiple definitions and cover a spectrum of meanings; 'theory' in science is a well-founded explanation for a phenomenon and in colloquial conversation theory oftentimes means a guess.  It sounds like each debater has their own personal definition of humanity, just like theists have of their gods.  But you seem to be saying that the atheist shouldn't be basing anything concerning the existence of gods based on the ability to argue with these different conceptions, as it is failing to address general 'divinity'.  When I ask you to clarify then what Leo's divinity conception entails, you say it has no characteristics and can mean nothing or everything, which means essentially that you don't actually have any definition of divinity, which since it's the case has nothing to do with atheism and the definitions of divinity that it disputes, so I'm not sure why you brought it up.  Why exactly am I able to find definitions of divinity in any dictionary, why don't actual etymologists struggle to provide a definition if it really as you said has no characteristics?

I think I've largely misread part of your argument here.  When you were first talking about how atheists are good at picking on the 'backwards' religions (that billions of theists actually believe in...) and how they really should be addressing some general 'divinity', I assumed there was something about this other more general definition of divinity that atheists don't have a good answer for or that are more sophisticated conceptions than the more defined gods.  After asking what you mean though, the only reason I'm getting why atheists don't have a good answer for this other 'general divinity' is because there is no definition there to actually dispute; I don't see that as a strike against atheism at all, not much argument to be made against everything, anything, and/or nothing, but that of course is not what atheism disputes anyway.  Yea, I'm lost.

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#92    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:57 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 05 September 2013 - 09:43 PM, said:

I continue to point out that a soon as you attribute any sort of "infinite" to such a God, you end up with self-referent logical contradictions.  This is equivalent to proving the premise is false.  

I'm not sure what you mean unless we're talking about God making a rock that he cannot lift or something like that.  I don't know that I'm comfortable saying that an all-powerful God cannot violate the Law of Non-contradiction, since 'logic' only exists because God created it, by definition; he is not at all confined by what we puny humans can't understand or comprehend.

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#93    Frank Merton

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:01 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 05 September 2013 - 11:57 PM, said:

I'm not sure what you mean unless we're talking about God making a rock that he cannot lift or something like that.  I don't know that I'm comfortable saying that an all-powerful God cannot violate the Law of Non-contradiction, since 'logic' only exists because God created it, by definition; he is not at all confined by what we puny humans can't understand or comprehend.
You say logic only exists because God created it.  Do you mean God could create a world where when A implies B and B implies C that A does not imply C?


#94    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:27 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 06 September 2013 - 12:01 AM, said:

You say logic only exists because God created it.  

It seems like the alternative is that God is not the ultimate creator and himself dwells in some realm with laws and rules like logic that he cannot violate.  Then he is either not the ultimate creator of everything that is except himself, or is not omnipotent; I may be mistaken, but I thought he was typically defined as being both of those.

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Do you mean God could create a world where when A implies B and B implies C that A does not imply C?

I'm not sure what else omnipotent could mean.  No one said that God and what he can do would at all be comprehensible to us, quite the opposite.  The alternative seems to be that we make the argument that, relative to God, our meager understanding of logic confines what God can do necessarily, an assertion that in the context we are referring to doesn't seem to have much to support it.  We can understand logic much better than we can comprehend omnipotence, so I don't know on what grounds I can say that an omnipotence that I cannot understand cannot result in things beyond my comprehension.  I don't know on what grounds I can say that God can't make an illogical universe, it seems to only be because I cannot imagine how it can be true, and I have no reason to believe that my brain should be able to comprehend everything that might be possible.

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#95    CORK_SNIPER

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:47 AM

I think people who use IMO are right to use it especially when it comes to the spiritual section. As nothing on the topics of god, afterlife etc etc is fact due to no proof. Ive read ALOT on these forums for last year or 2 when I accidently entered the site to which im Hooked.. Only recently I decided to share my opinions. Took long enough.
As for the poor spelling etc. Alot of people im sure use there phones these day dont you just hate doubling letters or even forgeting one?
If you understand what is being said Does it really matter? Not everyone attended schools, colleges, uni's. Id say let them at it


#96    Frank Merton

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:59 AM

Some things pass the test of reason and some don't.  Those who continue to hold to beliefs that don't pass the test of reason can only be viewed as having been indoctrinated and having a childhood inserted desire to believe.  It doesn't take much gyration to see that an illogical God is illogical.


#97    Sherapy

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:22 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 05 September 2013 - 11:53 PM, said:

No, technically I analogized them, not conflated; I'm making a comparison, not merging them.  The stumble seems to have occurred because you are using a non-standard definition of 'divinity' that I overlooked initially.



Yes, but it is impossible to determine or even discuss if something does exist or non-exist if it is not first defined. Tell me, do kerzuxes exist, do you find that to even be a meaningful question?  You're not going to now be inconsistent and 'insist' on a definition are you?

I never insisted that a definition has to mean a complete description, but leprechauns and divinity do mean something.  A leprechaun is not a Kraken and divinity is not bad breath, and we know that because both leprechaun and divinity do have some attributes or definition.



If for some reason we must arrive at one 'definition' to rule them all, then I'd say it's the opposite, the definition of humanity is probably the attributes that most of these debaters agree on, which sounds like it's just a different group of supposedly intelligent creatures, who it has been proposed may possess qualities A,B, and/or C.  In your scenario here, as soon as we have some agreement on what qualities these debaters agree humanity possesses, then it is not valid to then define it as having no characteristics at all and that it can be everything or nothing.


'
In the objective sense things are complicated because words can have multiple definitions and cover a spectrum of meanings; 'theory' in science is a well-founded explanation for a phenomenon and in colloquial conversation theory oftentimes means a guess.  It sounds like each debater has their own personal definition of humanity, just like theists have of their gods.  But you seem to be saying that the atheist shouldn't be basing anything concerning the existence of gods based on the ability to argue with these different conceptions, as it is failing to address general 'divinity'.  When I ask you to clarify then what Leo's divinity conception entails, you say it has no characteristics and can mean nothing or everything, which means essentially that you don't actually have any definition of divinity, which since it's the case has nothing to do with atheism and the definitions of divinity that it disputes, so I'm not sure why you brought it up.  Why exactly am I able to find definitions of divinity in any dictionary, why don't actual etymologists struggle to provide a definition if it really as you said has no characteristics?

I think I've largely misread part of your argument here.  When you were first talking about how atheists are good at picking on the 'backwards' religions (that billions of theists actually believe in...) and how they really should be addressing some general 'divinity', I assumed there was something about this other more general definition of divinity that atheists don't have a good answer for or that are more sophisticated conceptions than the more defined gods.  After asking what you mean though, the only reason I'm getting why atheists don't have a good answer for this other 'general divinity' is because there is no definition there to actually dispute; I don't see that as a strike against atheism at all, not much argument to be made against everything, anything, and/or nothing, but that of course is not what atheism disputes anyway. Yea, I'm lost.

Lol, me too.




#98    Sherapy

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:39 AM

View PostCORK_SNIPER, on 06 September 2013 - 03:47 AM, said:

I think people who use IMO are right to use it especially when it comes to the spiritual section. As nothing on the topics of god, afterlife etc etc is fact due to no proof. Ive read ALOT on these forums for last year or 2 when I accidently entered the site to which im Hooked.. Only recently I decided to share my opinions. Took long enough.
As for the poor spelling etc. Alot of people im sure use there phones these day dont you just hate doubling letters or even forgeting one?
If you understand what is being said Does it really matter? Not everyone attended schools, colleges, uni's. Id say let them at it

Welcome Cork Sniper and don't worry about your spelling. This is a forum not an English class. LOL




#99    Sherapy

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:49 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 05 September 2013 - 10:40 PM, said:

Indoctrination into a religion or into a political belief system generally happens during childhood.  It can be self-done via wishful thinking or hypnosis or meditation.  I don't think people can come to believe irrational things any other way.

You know Frank, you do bring in interesting points.




#100    Leonardo

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:59 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 05 September 2013 - 11:53 PM, said:

No, technically I analogized them, not conflated; I'm making a comparison, not merging them.  The stumble seems to have occurred because you are using a non-standard definition of 'divinity' that I overlooked initially.



Yes, but it is impossible to determine or even discuss if something does exist or non-exist if it is not first defined. Tell me, do kerzuxes exist, do you find that to even be a meaningful question?  You're not going to now be inconsistent and 'insist' on a definition are you?

I never insisted that a definition has to mean a complete description, but leprechauns and divinity do mean something.  A leprechaun is not a Kraken and divinity is not bad breath, and we know that because both leprechaun and divinity do have some attributes or definition.

Yes, they do. Try looking up definitions of 'divinity' and find if it differs in meaning from how I have been applying the term. Then look up definitions of 'leprechaun' and note that it refers to a specific (even singular) type of being - not a class object.

Quote

If for some reason we must arrive at one 'definition' to rule them all, then I'd say it's the opposite, the definition of humanity is probably the attributes that most of these debaters agree on...

Try again after you have investigated the definitions of 'divinity', as that and 'humanity' (in the sense I used it within my analogy) are both class object identifiers.

Edited by Leonardo, 06 September 2013 - 10:00 AM.

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#101    White Crane Feather

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:39 PM

I have a non belief that there are such things as people with non beliefs because there simply is no evidence that such a person exists ;)

I have an even greater non belief that there are scientifically based non beliefs about things in which cannot be investigated scientifically. ;) ;)

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#102    J. K.

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:41 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 05 September 2013 - 10:43 PM, said:

I might add that propaganda can make the irrational seem rational -- techniques such as testimony, stacked deck, the Big Lie, appeals to our better selves and what we wish were true, and of course that old standby, cultural pressure and even legal pressure.

The same could be said about any atheistic view touted by those who claim to have exclusive knowledge.  The problem with your postulate is that it is not 100% true.  I entered my relationship with God solely based on my own reading of what the Bible said.  I submitted myself only to Jesus Christ, not to any man, church, denomination, or religion.  I know that you wish that religion was not based on choice, but for myself, and for dozens of others whom I have know personally, it is a choice.

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#103    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:15 PM

View PostLeonardo, on 06 September 2013 - 09:59 AM, said:

Try again after you have investigated the definitions of 'divinity', as that and 'humanity' (in the sense I used it within my analogy) are both class object identifiers.

Nah, no thanks, if you can't explain it then I don't think it will be fruitful for me to continue to just make guesses what you are talking about.  I understand that leprechaun refers to a more specific entity than 'divinity', but you haven't explained why that difference has anything to do with my analogy comparing the reasoning behind believing leprechauns exist and gods/divinity existing.   I understand divinity and humanity are class object identifiers, so what?  Would you prefer I don't use 'leprechauns' and just refer to 'fairies', of which a leprechaun is just one example, so that we are comparing class identifier to class identifier?  My argument probably is not going to change much if I do.  Right now you might as well be noting that leprechauns are Irish and divinity is not restricted to just that, which of course is not a difference that invalidates the analogy, the analogy does not depend at all on that specific difference in attributes.

One issue is that to me you keep, yes, conflating two separate things:  the definition of what is being claimed to exist and whether that thing actually exists.  My analogy only corresponds to the latter and can be only done once we have determined or claimed something about the former.  You seem to object when we use actual examples of divinity that people actually believe in as that is not comprehensive enough, atheists reject all divinity so we have to use a more general definition, which when I asked then what that general definition actually is, you confused me by talking about 'everything, anything, and nothing' which has to do with whether divinity actually exists, not how it is defined.  Here's what you said what seems like eons ago now when we started this:

Quote

Thus the only reference to such a thing we should use which has any use in logical debate, is the one which is as undefined as possible.


You admit that you can't debate about something that is entirely undefined, yet you won't give me any definition of what atheists should be using in this logical debate.  You seem to think that when specific gods of actual religions are argued against that atheism does have logical arguments and you even go further than I do and say they can be 'empirically or logically falsified'.  So then what exactly changes when we argue against the claim (without including whether or not it actually exists and what the reasoning is behind it; that is the purpose of the debate in the first place) using a general 'class' of divinity?  Because to me, and most etymologists, divinity refers to gods, and some of the atheist arguments I know of do make arguments against specific examples of religious gods that may also apply to the general class of 'gods'.  And I'll leave it there as I seem to be doing what I just said I wasn't going to, guessing what you are talking about.

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#104    Leonardo

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:57 PM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 06 September 2013 - 05:15 PM, said:

One issue is that to me you keep, yes, conflating two separate things:  the definition of what is being claimed to exist and whether that thing actually exists.

How is saying "this exists" any different to the claim "this exists"? Everything is a claim, and it is either accepted or denied on the basis of evidence provided to support that claim.

Quote

I understand that leprechaun refers to a more specific entity than 'divinity', but you haven't explained why that difference has anything to do with my analogy comparing the reasoning behind believing leprechauns exist and gods/divinity existing.

If you understand that, and understand that the same argument regarding ' specificity of definition' should not be applied to specific objects as class objects, then why can you not see how your analogy comparing leprechauns to divinity was flawed?

The leprechaun is defined in all the definitions I know of, with similar - if not identical - attributes. This makes the claim of the leprechauns existence a relatively simple matter to disprove. Divinity is a class of objects with wildly different attributes, some contradictory - some even with no stated attributes or nature. This makes the claim of the existence of divinity, in the general sense - as it could be anything from that class, which doesn't include just the major religion's definition(s) of deity - extremely difficult, if not impossible, to disprove.

There is simply no way these two concepts, leprechauns vs divinity, are remotely comparable in their ability to be argued, defined, proved, disproved, etc.

Quote

when I asked then what that general definition actually is, you confused me by talking about 'everything, anything, and nothing' which has to do with whether divinity actually exists, not how it is defined.

It is exactly how divinity (the class object identifier) is defined*, because it encompasses all that people believe divinity might be. Contrarily, you seem to wish to limit the definition of divinity to just those definition's given of the deities of major religions.

Quote

You admit that you can't debate about something that is entirely undefined, yet you won't give me any definition of what atheists should be using in this logical debate.

I have given you that definition, but you don't wish to acknowledge it - perhaps because you know your argument will fail, or has already failed?

Forgive me if I have used language which seems combative, or even aggressive. It simply seems to me that you do not want to consider contemplating what I have asserted and are being deliberately obtuse as a result. I may be mistaken, and it may be I haven't been able to put my points across with the clarity I believe I have, but that is how it appears to me.

*Yes, various dictionaries will have "a god/divine being" as a definition. Due to it's non-specific nature, this definition means precisely what I have already stated - it could be "anything, everything or nothing".

Edited by Leonardo, 06 September 2013 - 06:01 PM.

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#105    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:19 PM

View PostLeonardo, on 06 September 2013 - 05:57 PM, said:

How is saying "this exists" any different to the claim "this exists"? Everything is a claim, and it is either accepted or denied on the basis of evidence provided to support that claim.

Those are not the two statements that need to be separated, it is 'this exists' and 'what is 'this'?'.  Without providing some kind of definition of what 'this' is, you cannot possibly, logically say that atheism has no argument against it.

Quote

If you understand that, and understand that the same argument regarding ' specificity of definition' should not be applied to specific objects as class objects, then why can you not see how your analogy comparing leprechauns to divinity was flawed?

You can have a more specific definition of class objects, class objects do have definitions right?  'Morality' does have a definition, even though everyone's specific conception and opinion concerning what is moral or not differs wildly.  Similarly divinity has a definition, even though everyone's specifics about what things actually have the quality of divinity differ wildly also.  But neither morality nor divinity are defined as 'nothing'; I think what you are trying to say is that divinity may actually have no referent in reality.  Neither does Bugs Bunny, but that doesn't mean that the definition of Bugs Bunny, or the class 'cartoon characters' is 'nothing'.

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The leprechaun is defined in all the definitions I know of, with similar - if not identical - attributes. This makes the claim of the leprechauns existence a relatively simple matter to disprove.

Really now?  Then please do so, I'd be interested to hear how you arrived at the end of the rainbow to determine whether there were leprechauns there or not.

Quote

Divinity is a class of objects with wildly different attributes, some contradictory - some even with no stated attributes or nature.

No; who exactly has claimed that divinity has no attributes, and if they did, why are they even using 'divinity' in the first place since it apparently has no meaning at all?  The only way this makes sense is if you are continuing to conflate the two different questions:  what is divinity defined as, and does divinity actually exist.  I think what you are really saying is that people believe that there is nothing in reality that actually is divine; that does not change the definition of what divinity means, even for that person, to 'nothing'.  I don't think the divine exists but divine still has a definition that is not 'nothing'.  I believe you are saying that in actuality, everything, anything, or nothing may actually be divine; that has nothing to do with the definition of what has been claimed to exist.

Quote

This makes the claim of the existence of divinity, in the general sense - as it could be anything from that class, which doesn't include just the major religion's definition(s) of deity - extremely difficult, if not impossible, to disprove.

I don't think it's possible to 'disprove' either of these questions.  What I said is that I disbelieve in divinity for largely the same reason I disbelieve in leprechauns.  I am not restricting my definition of divinity to just the major religions, I'm including all gods in that, those are the members of the class.  So make your claim then that you don't think can really be argued against, but don't just say 'divinity' if you don't mean 'gods' without then clarifying what you do mean as specifically as you can given that it is a class. The reason I don't think there are any gods, not just of any particular religion, is because no one has yet provided any evidence that any exist, and the 'reasoning' that I have heard to justify believing in the specific gods, that cover the vast majority of what people actually believe and claim concerning divinity, I don't find to be logical and find to usually involve special pleading.  There might well be some other conception that I haven't heard of that my reasoning for disbelieving is not logical when applied to, but I haven't heard of it yet.

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There is simply no way these two concepts, leprechauns vs divinity, are remotely comparable in their ability to be argued, defined, proved, disproved, etc.

Try me.  I think the fact that no one can provide any evidence of each to be a nice starter on comparability.

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It is exactly how divinity (the class object identifier) is defined*, because it encompasses all that people believe divinity might be. Contrarily, you seem to wish to limit the definition of divinity to just those definition's given of the deities of major religions.

I have no wish to limit it.  Again, who has defined divinity as meaning 'nothing'; that is not the same thing as saying that nothing is divine.  I can't say that any more plainly.

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I have given you that definition, but you don't wish to acknowledge it - perhaps because you know your argument will fail, or has already failed?

Ha, yes, that's I'm sure it.... don't hurt yourself patting yourself on the back.  Okay, so divinity is 'the general concept of the divine' (note, that is not compatible with the definition being 'nothing').  Great, what about that differentiates it from leprechauns that is relevant to the analogy that is being made?  Can anyone demonstrate a god or leprechaun exists?  No.  Can anyone 'disprove' that either of those exist?  No.  Is there some meaningful, valid argument to be made or reasoning supporting the existence of any kind of divinity (i.e., the class) that would differentiate it from that of leprechauns?  Unknown, but I think there should be and you should be able to state it if what I think you are saying is correct.

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Forgive me if I have used language which seems combative, or even aggressive. It simply seems to me that you do not want to consider contemplating what I have asserted and are being deliberately obtuse as a result. I may be mistaken, and it may be I haven't been able to put my points across with the clarity I believe I have, but that is how it appears to me.

Same here Leo, I do not take these conversations seriously enough to really get angry about them and I certainly don't mean any offense, we are just having a, ha, spirited discussion, and I wouldn't even bother if I didn't think you were a smart guy and worth sharing ideas with.  I'm more than willing to contemplate what you are saying, but I'm unclear on specifically which of my responses to you are actually invalid or don't represent your position and most importantly why.

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*Yes, various dictionaries will have "a god/divine being" as a definition. Due to it's non-specific nature, this definition means precisely what I have already stated - it could be "anything, everything or nothing".

As I said, I think what you are really saying here is that anything, everything, or nothing may actually be a divine being; that is not the same as saying a divine being is defined as 'nothing'.  Unless we want to tear all of reality apart and make this conversation impossible, a 'being' by definition is something and therefore cannot simultaneously be defined as 'nothing'.  I'm also assuming your point is not that because there are so many conceptions of divinity in the specifics, that the atheist cannot rule out that there is one somewhere that someone has that cannot be disputed; that may be the case, but then we would need to know what that specific is.  Again, atheism is not the belief that something that can mean anything doesn't exist.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman




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