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Thread: The Explanatory Impotence of Goddidit

  1. Top | #11
    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    In (I believe) Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World, he tells an anecdote of being driven to a conference by a cab driver, and when the driver learned Sagan was a scientist, the driver started asking him questions about science. He was a science enthusiast!

    Except, what the driver asked about was actually pseudo-science, like BigFoot, and Atlantis, and UFOs. Sagan observed that as he debunked idea after idea that lit the cab driver's buttons, the driver started becoming more and more subdued, until finally his enthusiasm had completely drained away.

    Never mind that true science can be exciting. I admit that stories about UFOs visiting Earth can be more interesting than, say, gravitational waves being discovered. I'll wager that cab driver continues to believe in pseudo-science because, quite frankly, it hold more appeal to him.

  2. Top | #12
    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    The cab driver's loss of enthusiasm was more due to learning that a lot of what he accepted as true, and told people at parties... was false. It's like a creationist's loss of faith when they actually read the bible and pay attention to the world around them, instead of having a hustler spoon feed them predigested ideas that avoid the "hard" parts of the bible.

    It eats away at their false self confidence (pride)....

  3. Top | #13
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    ...Thankfully it's seldom used.
    Very few theists actually claim that... "There's a gap therefore this proves God."
    I don't know what world you live in but I hear it all the time. How could you possibly know what 'very few theists actually claim'?

  4. Top | #14
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ113 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    ...Thankfully it's seldom used.
    Very few theists actually claim that... "There's a gap therefore this proves God."
    I don't know what world you live in but I hear it all the time. How could you possibly know what 'very few theists actually claim'?
    ...and even if it were true, how would the fact that they are few in number in any way affect the unrelated fact that they are wrong?

  5. Top | #15
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Wasn't that Bill O'Reilly's argument? 'You can't explain the tide, therefore God.'

  6. Top | #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ113 View Post
    What I can't understand is why they do it in the first place. History shows repeatedly that when a goddidit explanation is inserted into a knowledge gap, that gap is closed by knowledge at some point, thus disproving the deity and discrediting its followers. So it is inevitable that current goddidit explanations will go the same way. Why don't they see that?
    simple, imo... fear of the unknown. "I don't know" is a very difficult (and very mature) thing to say.
    Also, fear of looking stupid (or fear of not being in compliance with the local culture).. people are not quick to admit lack of knowledge, especially for deceivingly simple questions. four little words "why are we here", seems such a simple question.. and what simpleton might possibly not know the answer to such a simple question!?

    Culturally, emotionally, etc.. people seem to rather be wrong (and never admit it) than admit ignorance (and someday learn it).

  7. Top | #17
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfield View Post
    1. Atheists cannot explain X.
    2. My religion says that God did X, therefore my religion is better at explaining the universe than science.
    3. Therefore my religion is true.

    (where X is some natural phenomenon).
    One adjustment......The subject in premise 1 should be more global than just atheists. Beyond that.......
    I concur, any theist advancing such an argument would arguably be committing a fallacy.

    But you didn't present an example of a theist advancing such an argument. You simply asserted that you often hear them.

    Can you provide an example of a current theistic gotg argument?
    And defend your position.

  8. Top | #18
    Veteran Member Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bigfield View Post
    1. Atheists cannot explain X.
    2. My religion says that God did X, therefore my religion is better at explaining the universe than science.
    3. Therefore my religion is true.

    (where X is some natural phenomenon).
    One adjustment......The subject in premise 1 should be more global than just atheists. Beyond that.......
    I concur, any theist advancing such an argument would arguably be committing a fallacy.

    But you didn't present an example of a theist advancing such an argument. You simply asserted that you often hear them.

    Can you provide an example of a current theistic gotg argument?
    And defend your position.
    A very common such argument is the argument from morality. Evolution cannot explain human morality, therefore God.

    Google evolution cannot explain human morality for various examples of Christian websites that peddle this claim.
    Cheerful Charlie

  9. Top | #19
    the baby-eater
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    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bigfield View Post
    1. Atheists cannot explain X.
    2. My religion says that God did X, therefore my religion is better at explaining the universe than science.
    3. Therefore my religion is true.

    (where X is some natural phenomenon).
    One adjustment......The subject in premise 1 should be more global than just atheists. Beyond that.......
    I concur, any theist advancing such an argument would arguably be committing a fallacy.
    Premise #1 is fine as it is. It could be more general but the God of the Gaps argument is often directed at atheists rather than theists from other religions, because other theists have their own god to wedge into the gaps.

    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    But you didn't present an example of a theist advancing such an argument. You simply asserted that you often hear them.

    Can you provide an example of a current theistic gotg argument?
    And defend your position.
    "Tide goes in, tide goes out" by Bill O'Reilly:


    (View video on YouTube)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb3AFMe2OQY

  10. Top | #20
    Veteran Member seyorni's Avatar
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    Theists seem to mistake an assertion of agency for "explanation." Science explores the actual mechanics of phenomena.
    Most of the he alternative religious explanations I hear amount to nothing more than magic.

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