You said; "Without identity, an idea cannot be integrated into a knowledge base without contradiction. One can certainly try. But if one is intellectually honest, they will recognize and acknowledge that the idea of god, which can have no concrete identity, cannot exist. Sure I am giving the concept of god an identity of omniscience and magic, but those are not compatible with reality, they are not concrete or real identities."
And I have to agree. But I must point out how I interpret your statements. Identity is concrete when there is evidence of its reality. A definition is concrete only when there is evidence of its reality.
If a thing exists, it has a concrete valid identity. To prove a thing exists, we must have evidence of its identity. But if something, by definition, has only contradictory characteristics for its identity, we do not need evidence of any kind (other than that necessary to build a knowledge base from the axioms of existence, consciousness and identity) to know that it doesn't exist.
A definition is a description of the characteristics of the thing being defined. If the definition is contrary to what it means to exist in our world, it is merely a wrong description. As far as it being not able to exist, is a logical but unimportant distinction. Saying that an idea, definition, identity, description is impossible is just saying it is incorrect. You may believe something is impossible, but you must also admit it is wrong. To believe something is impossible is not the same thing as proving it is impossible.
You invoke evidence to prove that an identity of say an apple is real and that the apple exists, but you say that evidence is not necessary to prove that an identity is impossible. I say that scientifically (which requires evidence) there is no way to prove that something is non-existent. No matter how much you search for that identity, nothing says that it couldn't be that if you continued the search a little longer, or in a different way, you would have found the evidence.
Because I required evidence of an idea, I have to concede that I cannot prove a negative. You can prove a negative because you do not require evidence to prove that something is impossible. To me that means the idea that is being considered is wrong, not that an identity is impossible. To have an identity that is real and exists, evidence of it is required. Otherwise it is just an idea. So can an idea be impossible? You can believe it, but you can never really prove it.
Also, are ideas, not proven by evidence, knowledge? I put to you that people thought time was the same throughout reality. That a clock here on Earth would run at the same rate as one placed on the moon. That was logically accepted as true until evidence showed that Einstein's ideas that time rates are variable were in fact real descriptions of the universe. With this story, I want to show that something logically true does not mean it is real. To find something as being real, you need evidence. The idea of time being the same throughout reality is impossible (I call it wrong) because we found the right answer (or maybe just a better description of reality for the time being).
What have we found that would negate the idea of god? We have found a great deal of evidence that does not require a god. That does not negate the idea of god. If we discovered that the universe was created due to a process not yet known, that might negate the idea of God, but so far such a discovery has not been made.
My beliefs are as follows: Knowledge requires evidence, but belief does not require evidence. You have proved to me that you agree with my beliefs, but you say that what I call belief, you call knowledge.
Identity is concrete when it is particular in its character and known to be concrete when it is literal in the description of its essential character.
A dog is a 4 legged mammal that barks. Clear. Concrete. Possible. Real (well, real if I see evidence of it).
The soul, god, spirit and kharma do not have the requisite specific worldly concrete essential characteristics to be real or possible or verifiable. And therefore, I know that they cannot exist, because any and all definitions of them are either contradictory or acausal or metaphorical.
Identity is proved to exist, when evidence of it is demonstrated and integrated without contradiction. Things that are out there and not known about can have identity without anyone seeing evidence of it. But things that cannot possibly have evidence, lest the world would make no sense, do not require a scientific search to prove that they do not exist. So, in the same way that I know that 21+10 cannot equal 35, or that a leaf cannot freeze and burn at the same time, or that it cannot be all red or all blue, I know that god cannot and does not exist.
I can know that something is possible without seeing evidence for it. And I can know that something is impossible when its existence would negate the process of reason and logic I use to make and integrate concepts to begin with. For, if magic is possible, well, it's just not. Reality is causal and I need no more proof than this understanding to know that, for sure, the impossible is just that, impossible.
Definitions are simply the phonemes we attach to concepts. They are valid if they include only the essential characteristics of a thing.
If I scientifically verify my location in Chicago, this proves the negative that I am not in Miami. Invoking science for such an obviously simple thing should not be necessary. This demonstrates just how far gone you are, using science to prove something that a 5 year old has knowledge of and you apparently don't.
What kind of scientific experiment do you propose we set up to verify if bachelors are married or not? The identity of a bachelor is a man who is unmarried and the identity of a married person is that they are no longer 'single', which a bachelor must be, if he is to be a bachelor. So, if asked,"Hey Cane, did you know that bachelors aren't married?", you would respond, "No, but I believe it."?
I lost track of what this is all about some time back & it's way beyond the limits of what I know but what the hell.
I'm not sure whether a thing can exist or not matters, what does count is whether it has any use or value to us. An example which comes to mind is the concept of the square root of -1. It doesn't exist, it can't exist, but the concept is necessary to the mathematics behind most of our snazzy gadgets. Imaginary numbers are fundamental to some pretty important physics but they don't exist.
Whether god can or can't exist doesn't much matter to me either, the concept has no value or use outside of taking money off suckers or controlling them.
Scientists had a similar argument about black holes, though now many scientists believe in black holes, though there is not one person who wholly understands them. Why then do we believe they exist? We have indirect evidence that they do exist. The gravity that they "exert" on other objects that we see is one sort of evidence. The lack of light prevents us from seeing the black hole directly which fits our current definition of black holes is another sort of evidence.
We have nothing that allows for direct or indirect evidence of god. But as long as we have no evidence, we can always say that the evidence has not yet been found. The definition you use to try to prove there is a god matters, but so far ALL definitions lack evidence.
I agree with your takes on religion and on post-modern relativism and mysticism.
Nevertheless your absolute epistemological denial of "god" is aesthetic. And it is a trap to assert that the proponents of "god" must define her. Once having defined her attributes you claim impossibility. Aesthetically you are correct but how can we possibly be assured when dealing with the unknown.
It also reminds me of the religious geocentric view when you assert how identity must be integrated with knowledge in a non contradictory way. You assume too much. We are talking about origins and of a universe which is and may remain a mystery for humans. What does it mean to integrate a concept into a base of knowledge which is infinitessimal?
Hi Glen how are things.
I know your response is for Michael, but I hope you don't mind me writing the following. Debating this and reading peoples responses to my thoughts and others thoughts, helps me define and redefine my thoughts.
It is a provable fact that there is no omnipresent and or omnipotent God.
What does it mean to integrate a concept into a base of knowledge which is infinitesimal?
What concept has Michael integrated into the infinitesimal knowledge base?
What attributes? Omniscience? Creator? Omnipotence? Miracle worker? Any quality gods are thought to have are impossible. If you have another quality you would like to suggest, let's hear it. And if it is not one of those things in the beginning of this paragraph, or some other nebulous non-identity, then it is probably something we already have a real word for or you would not be talking about a god. However you would like to try and twist words, redefine, avoid defining or obsess about some simple contradictory statement like "This sentence if false" or "You can't prove a negative", the fact remains, concrete noncontradictory identity is absolutely necessary for existence. You use this fact to think very simple statements and then build knowledge based on this fact to then try and tell me that it is, in fact, and you know it, possible for the impossible to exist and that things don't necessarily need identity to exist. A thing, to exist, must have certain qualities and not others. You even give god a sex by calling it her. Does she have a vagina? 2 x chromosomes? And you claim that it is me forcing clear concrete definition or identity for a thing to exist. It is the nature of existence. I do not assume too much to say that every single thing that exists does so because and in conjunction with the fact that it must have identity. Existence and identity are inseparable. Your skepticism is rampant. What sort of thing could possibly exist if it did not have identity? How could it be identified?
It is through a thing's identity that we are able to learn about it. Anything. The very first things we perceive in order to begin building concepts must have an identity in order to perceive them. When we perceive something, it is it's identity's affect that we perceive. A thing can and will do only what is in its nature to do, based on its structure, its identity. And in order to interact with reality a thing must do so in a particular way, based on its identity. A super-being that interacts with reality in arbitrary contradictory ways, cannot be. I do not need science to tell me that I cannot perceive something without a particular identity; I know that before science. I know it when I explicitly grasp, as we all implicitly grasp, that in order to think, reality must first exist, I must be conscious and I must be conscious of something in reality that has identity. If you can grasp that the laws of causality and noncontradiction stem from this and empower the scientific method, then you can see why you do not need science to prove what you already know and you cannot use science or its axiomatic fundamentals to demonstrate the existence or possibility of something that would negate them to begin with.
This universe is not so much a mystery that the impossible can happen. I do not need infinite or perfect knowledge for a concept to integrate contextually without contradiction. Infinitesimal? Super super small trending toward a singularity? I have no idea. I would not describe our knowledge base as infinitesimal. I would call it limited. Not infinite. As in, by nature, by reason, cannot be all-knowing, but can be particularly knowing.
You also do not need evidence for something to exist. Things existed billions of years ago, right? But there was no one to identify anything. That doesn't mean that things didn't have identity. Existence, which is inextricably linked to identity, comes/came before and has primacy over consciousness. Something must exist, with identity, first, to perceive it. Ontologically, cognitively, the first thing any and everyone can say is, "There is something I am aware of". This presupposes a thing existing, it having identity and a conscious mind to perceive it. These are preconditions to thought. They are the necessary axioms. The idea of the supernatural is an aasoult on everything we know about reality. It is a contradiction of every essential of a rational metaphysics. It represents a rejection of the basic axioms of philosophy, or in the case of many people on this thread, a failure to grasp them.
I readily concede that God as defined by theists is not possible. But God is is a construct, an invention which serves ignorance and projects human characteristics. Humans have no more ability to identify "god" than 18th century scientists had to identify special relativity or quantum mechanics.
I am saying that Michael is delving into an area which is outside the parameters of epistemology. The epistemological extension into the area of ultimate cause is a form of arrogance I liken to the medieval theologian's "we are the center of the universe". In other words the human pyramid of knowledge is insufficient as a basis of denial where ultimate cause is concerned.
It is not that he has or has not integrated some concept, it is that he fails to recognize the limits of epistemology. Epistemology is what we have to build on but it is not necessarily applicable to the mystery of ultimate cause. Then again I would not want a theist or mystic to use this argument to perpetuate their crap or to say nah nah nah you cant prove me wrong. So the tenor of his thinking is beneficial for humanity.