I wanted to put this question out there to see how strongly everyone feels on this subject. Being that most of us trust in scientific fact and reasoning, I was wondering if everyone is absolutely, undeniably, 100% sure that a god doesn't exist.  I personally take into account that there is no proof of any cosmic creator so therefore I am about 99.9999% sure that there is no god. However we all agree that science is an ever evolving field and I don't think that there will ever be any proof to support the existence of a supreme being, but I can't be 100% sure until there is concrete proof against one. I would like to know what all of your thoughts on this.  

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Hi Craig,

I Google statements that I think are interesting here. And at least try to find out if there is an example of that statement in the real world.

To put it simply; electrons with a positive charge are called positrons. They exist. And experiments can be done with them.

the process of logical exclusion doesn't work with supernatural claims.

To put this statement into layman terms: If one supernatural claim exists other supernatural claims can exist at the same time.

If the process of logical exclusion does work in the supernatural world, only one supernatural claim could exist and no other supernatural claims could exist at the same time. 

So, what do you mean exactly by your statement. 

Positrons are the anti-matter parallel to electrons, but they definitely are not interchangeable, so your simplified definition is highly misleading. While you could argue that anti-particles are a mirror image, the decay rates are asymmetric so there's no way to lump them together here.

Hi Drake,

I didn't read your initial statement, but have read it now. And I'm not trying to mislead you. You have made a statement and I intend to try and verify it in this public forum.

logical exclusion

In computer programming the logical exclusion function is a Boolean operator notated as Xor.

To use it with electrons and positrons the following would be true.

The 'e' particle can be either e-(electron) or e+(positron) but not both e- and e+ nor can it be e+ and e-, at the same time.

"All electrons have negative electrical charges" is a positive statement you can prove directly. Combine that with the EITHER/OR constraint that charge is a net value (so it can be positive or negative, but not both at once) and you have also proven the negative statement "No electrons can have positive electrical charges."

According to the Xor definition of logical exclusion, this statement is wrong. It's not that electrons can not have positive electrical charges, it can only have one or the other but not both. It can be either a positive charge or a negative charge but not both charges. And this makes sense because if it had both negative and positive charge it would annihilate itself. And this is exactly what happens.


so there's no way to lump them together here.

 Every single time an electron is produced a positron is also produced at exactly the same time. And visa versa. Why? Because before they are produced they are lumped together.


I have correct something here.

The 'e' particle can be either e-(electron) or e+(positron) but not both e- and e+, and it can't be both not e+ and not e-, at the same time.


"Every single time an electron is produced a positron is also produced at exactly the same time."


That is a false statement. See Beta Plus Decay. You are mistaking "energy->matter" conversion (in which both a particle and anti-particle are generated to conserve electrical charge) for a universal rule. That is not the case at all; electrons and positrons are not alternative forms. They are distinct particles, as separate as electrons and muons (both leptons of -1 charge, 1/2 spin, but impossible to confuse in practice). 

Hi Drake.


I don't think the electron production claim is false. Because I got the information from the CERN website.


Beta Plus Decay

The example you have given is one of an unstable isotope. Carbon11. But in order to make carbon 11, I would say either an electron is given off or a positron is used in carbon 11 production. I don't have a formula for my assumption yet but I am looking. 


Because you are the one who gave this as an example, could you please tell me how carbon11 is produced, include a formula with it's production showing how the neutron is lost and the effects of losing the neutron.


As for your initial explanation of logical exclusion. It is still wrong. And the more I think about it the more wrong it gets.

"All electrons have negative electrical charges" is a positive statement you can prove directly. Combine that with the EITHER/OR constraint that charge is a net value (so it can be positive or negative, but not both at once) and you have also proven the negative statement "No electrons can have positive electrical charges."


"All electrons have negative electrical charges"

This is correct by itself

But if you apply logical exclusion to it with positive electrical charges added to the equation the following is true.


Electrons must have either a 'positive electric charge' or 'negative electric charge'. They can not have 'both positive and negative electric charges', nor can they have 'no positive and no negative charge'. They must have one or the other.


Therefore when you say:

"No electrons can have positive electrical charges."

This is true by itself in science but if you apply the philosophical logic of  logical exclusion to your original statement, the following statement

"No electrons can have positive electrical charges."

is no longer true. By applying logical exclusion to your statement, electrons can also have positive charges. And they can also have negative charges. Logical exclusion forces electrons to have one charge type or the other. It is not limited to just one charge type. Your example of logical exclusion is limiting electrons to one charge type. The negative charge type. Which in science is true, but when you mix the philosophical logic of  logical exclusion, the electron must be one or the other. It can not be limited to just one charge type, if we apply the philosophical logic of  logical exclusion to it.


This is the problem that happens when you mix philosophy with science, science can suddenly become false. Religious people do it all the time.



just because you have said my statement about electron production is wrong doesn't make your statement about logical exclusion correct. It is still incorrect. 






Leveni, you sure do go a long way digging into a simple illustrative example. The generalized form is simply that if two properties are concurrently contradictory but individually possible, and one such property has been confirmed, then the other can be conclusively excluded as a secondary consequence of the collected evidence.


According to some U of Berkeley and a Radioisotope Guide, Carbon-11 is produced by proton bombardment of Boron (it's an artifical isotope) in a cyclotron. So:


Hydrogen ion (1 proton, 0 neutrons, 0 electrons)

+ Boron-10 (5 protons, 5 neutrons, 5 electrons)


 Carbon-11 ion (6 protons, 5 neutrons, 5 electrons)


Decay follows as:


Carbon-11 ion (6 protons, 5 neutrons, 5 electrons)


Boron-11 (5 protons, 6 neutrons, 5 electrons)

+ Positron emitted


Note that electrons have no involvement with nuclear interactions, while positrons do.


Also, re-read your anti-matter link and re-read what I said about it. Pair production only relates to "energy->matter" particle formation and has no relevance to anything else.


In your later statements you mis-applied the process of logical exclusion. The constraint here is on the properties, not the subject, so recognizing that net values are positive XOR negative does not imply that electrons are similarly so. However, if you determine the net charge of an electron as negative, the possibility of the net value being positive is conclusively excluded. A "positive electron" is never considered in this line of logic.


Property (1): {Positive  Negative, Null}

Identity (A): {Negative, Null}

Relationship: (1) = (A)

1. {A|Negative} -> {1|Negative}

2. {1|Negative} excludes {1|Positive}

(only provides new info if (A) has multiple properties)


Why do people seem to have so much trouble with the simple process of proving a negative? Is it cultural confusion relating to the issue that you can only demonstrate positive statements?


It's junk to think mixing science and logic can somehow invalidate either since science is predicated on logic studies (philosophy).

I was mainly just goofing on another post, but I think my post ended up in the wrong place.  Frankly, I don't know anything about electrons, positrons, quarks, or neutrinos.


In one post, someone pointed out the difficulties of proving a negative, then someone else brought up "logical exclusion" by stating that one could say with confidence that electrons with positive charges do not exist, since electrons by definition have negative charges.  I thought it was a bit silly </Monty Python voice>, since if there were an electron with a positive charge, we would call it something else.


Venturing into the supernatural is something completely different.  The supernatural world is entirely the product of human imagination.  No supernatural being has ever been proven to exist, so there's no possible standard of comparison.  If we actually had real gods to study (as we have real electrons), we might then be able to define gods, then venture an inductive claim about the nature of gods, which might be something like "no god without omniscience can exist" because we have made omniscience part of our definition.  So if we could send researchers into the supernatural world (interns first), and they found immortal beings with super powers, but not omniscience, we wouldn't call them gods because they don't fit our definition.  We would call them something else, maybe "demigods" or "angels" or "posigods" or something.


But there is no supernatural world to explore except the human imagination.  There you can find Zeus and Athena, Oz and Atlantis, witches and angels.  It's an infinite world with infinite possibilities.  In the real world we can say confidently that there are no unicorns or mermaids (logical exclusion), but in the imagination, the moment you think of some new beastie, say, a purple elf who eats quarkerinos, it exists.  Logic doesn't apply; we can't logically exlude God from the imagination, from the supernatural world.


I suppose I can't be 100% sure there isn't a god somewhere, but I can't imagine where.  Despite millions of claims for the supernatural, not one supernatural creature has been shown to exist.  There's no reliable evidence for any of them, or for God or gods.  There's no reliable evidence for anything supernatural.  Imagine saying "vampires drink only type A blood, so if you have type O, you're safe."  Is that any different from "God only punishes the wicked, so if you're good, you're safe"?







Not to get nit-picky but, this is you suggesting that I am the one thinking that my own approach is limited--->"you are correct in believing that your analytical approach will be too inflexible to handle high-level questions."

I never did, nor would I, suggest that time began at the big bang. Time beginning is irrational. I would call the big bang a limit to our ability to perceive. We simply cannot speak knowledgeably about about something that comes before its existence or our ability to perceive it or its effect.

Dude, you are just grasping at straws. You clearly do not understand my position. Reactionary exclusion? Not. I exclude things that are impossible, because their existence would preclude the existence of anything else. Not because I have feelings about it. I use causality and noncontradiction, reason and logic. It just doesn't make sense to talk about before time or before the universe or what caused the universe or that god exists or that magic is possible.

Finding out how we humans have developed since before we were here is just fine and good. But asking what caused the first cause is so 1st millenia BC. There can be no beginning.

String theory, the abstract concept of infinity, complex numbers and even imaginary numbers do not violate causality and noncontradiction. Abstract tools are fine, imaginary things actually existing is not. Probabilities for estimation of very very precise or small things is necessary because of the limitations of our perceptions. But imaginary numbers do not actually exist, neither does the infinite. Just because things appear random to our eyes, does not make them so. In fact, proving the randomness is not possible. There is a cause for everything that exists, whether we can observe it or not. And if you think it is possible to demonstrate the existence of a fundamental string vibrating at the lowest energy level, good luck with the infinite energy you will require to demonstrate its presence. I do think string theory is good and leads to a greater understand of metaphysics, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the impossibility of something happening before things were happening.

And what's with you attempting to suggest that I am bias by my own position.  Ad hominem. I make no emotion or feelings based arguments. As I said before, I form objective concepts from my subjective perceptions and then attempt to integrate them without contradiction. When they are clearly contradictory, not only to other validly integrated concepts, but to the more fundamental concepts that are necessary for the process of verification, I properly and validly reject them. I have the same cognitive limitations everybody else does, but I do not have to consider the impossible once I have attempted to integrate it and it contradicts the most fundamental assumptions I must make to even think at all, in order to be non-biased. If there are no concepts that can be rejected, then nothing would make any sense. We can have certain knowledge in and of this world. 1,434,444 is not a number that would at all be included in the possible answers to 2+2. Singing 'Beat It' by Michael Jackson is not something that my houseplants can possibly do. That is 100% for sure. But, I guess you would say that my own bias and emotional connection to my own world view is the reason why I seem to be so attached to the idea that my houseplants don't grow backwards or speak to angels or transmute soda pop to gold. But, I guess I'm just closed minded.

You are suggesting that the more flexible one is the more complete their theories can be. This is like saying that it is good to have an 'open' mind. Dead metaphor. Be more critical. After all, you are suggesting, with certainty, that you know that I cannot be certain. If certainty is so impossible, how is it that you know this? Does physics tell you? If I go to college again and read 10's of more books on quantum theory and relativity, will I then learn to be more open to the irrational?

Physics has gone to your head, like so many other postmodern philosophers. No amount of complex math can demonstrate that the tools we use for math aren't valid, which is what your position implies.




The first bit of awareness is not that you are thinking. It is of something. Something in reality. You sense first, then you think. It takes a multitude of sensations before you can have thought, or the manipulation and integration of concepts. As such, the very first statement, if you will, or thought you can make or the base of all cognition, epistemology and therefore philosophy is not 'I think therefore I am', but 'there is something I am aware of'. This entails an existent with identity and a consciousness to be aware of it. Existence comes before consciousness. There is one reality and we perceive it. Our view is subjective, but the world itself is not.

I consider blanket "impossible!"s to be reactionary exclusion. What I'm not getting from you is a pointer towards specific logical contradictions which make such discussions impossible. The entire universe carries the structural imprints of its origin, so we have the evidence we need to investigate these matters, there's just the problem of figuring out what questions to ask.


Your analytical tools of choice seem to be "causality and noncontradiction," though I'd point out that non-contradiction is an a priori logical device and doesn't really apply to your mostly a posteriori focus. Philosophically, causality is still a highly contentious topic because we don't know how it fits in the big picture (if at all), especially in light of recent challenges from the temporal peculiarities found in quantum mechanics.


But you nailed the issue yourself: "I have attempted to integrate it and it contradicts the most fundamental assumptions I ... make". The 'must' is a value judgment which serves to protect the validity of your previous mental investments. That's a great life strategy, but that doesn't mean your assumptions were actually true, only that you couldn't find a better approach at the time. The very point of intellectual rigor, especially in philosophy and science, is to cut away at exactly those kinds of weak assumptions so that we can, eventually, find better ones.


And about your ideas? We can't see ourselves without a mirror. That's all I'm trying to convey about examining your fundamentals and looking at the ideas from the outside.

And about your ideas? We can't see ourselves without a mirror.

Ending your debate with Michael by using metaphors????? That is not fair. It is also meaningless.

You talk about an origin of the universe, but ignore the very clear idea that a beginning is logically impossible since a state of nothingness must continue forever. Things don't come from nothing. We do not have evidence of a beginning. We have observations that suggest that the universe long ago was more dense and before that was even more dense and before that, well, our perception limited and therefore knowledge of, impossible. Nowhere does the universe suggest it had an origin. 0+0=0. Not 1 or 2 or .000002352342. It is 0. A first cause is theistland talk.

Reactionary exclusion is not what I am doing when I say that pumpkins cannot breakdance. That is illogical. If you insist on this, then you must concede that you think that there is a possibility that a pumpkin can do the hustle, trigonometry or pilates. 

We don't know how, if at all, causality fits in the picture? Your QM really has made you lost. Books slide if you push them, balls roll, every single time. Deny it. That is the true nature of this causal reality. Things do only what it is in their nature to do, based on their structure and momentum, every time. All of science and even cognition itself requires this to be the case. It is how we learn, even about particle physics. Your fancy mathematics is only relevant when measuring the super small super accurately, it can never change or disprove, the tools that make the more basic proofs and fundamentals of probability theories possible. As we require more precision of our measurements where our perception is more and more limited, we need to use advanced probabilistic mathematics to predict outcomes. Big deal. "Oooh, the uncertainty principle!!! I guess if I cannot know the very very very precise with certainty, I cannot know anything at all!" And my cat bowled a 300 last night.

My assumptions of existence, consciousness and identity and the corollaries of noncontradiction and causality are actually true, because to have cognition they must be. If they were not we could not debate the issue or have the technology necessary to do so online. Weak assumptions? Try necessary axioms. Intellectual rigor? I try to rigorously adhere to the assumptions we must make to have the process of validation. To be valid, something must integrate into a knowledge base contextually without contradiction and be able to be reduced to perceptual evidence. That's what it means to validate. Science and reason depend on this. You would like things to be phantasmagorical, fuzzy and contradictory, but to verify them, they must be literal, concrete, noncontradictory; it will always come back to that, if you wish to talk about what you know, instead of what you emote.

I do not consider your metaphors about me looking into a mirror or looking at ideas from outside to be terribly pertinent or germane. Other than as a demonstration of your contempt. I continuously consider varying degrees of concepts from a myriad of sources. And irrational ideas, I reject. Like the idea that anything is possible. Sure, that sounds all gay and nice, but it is a lie that fits on a greeting card, not in a philosophical discussion. I use literal concrete noncontradiction and causality. You seem to use what feels good and then support it with metaphor.

I have given you plenty of clear logical contradictions that make certain ideas impossible.




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