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July 30, 2021


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The claim of no God is as much a claim as the claim of God. It is a claim about the unknown.

If someone says the sky is blue and someone else says it is not, either statement should have empirical evidence behind it, if you are being asked to believe it. But if both simply acknowledge this is their personal belief, no further evidence is needed. They may personally experience a blue sky or a sky of another color.

But if someone wishes to impose their belief on someone else they need to have actual scientific evidence of whatever they are claiming.

I haven't seen it yet, for our against, except....

If God is defined as a system of belief.

There is a great deal of evidence for this. And some of that scientific evidence supports the physiological benefits of all kinds of practices belief, worship and prayer. Something real is happening and decades of evidence prove that.

Lots of scientific evidence there.

But no hypotheses testing under controlled conditions on the question the existence of God, as defined by...?

An agreed definition is needed as the first step to hypothesis testing.

Until then, It's unknown.

What should you believe? What is within either your personal experience or hard scientific evidence.

And since personal experiences are different, you should let other people believe their own experience, and not try to impose your experience or lack of upon them. Or denegrate their belts regardless of the Claim.

Only cultists try to convince others of the unknown without evidence of their claim.

But anyone can share their personal beliefs without being judged or questioned. With respect. If they wish to be respected.

"You should always go to other people's funerals, if you want them to go to yours."
Yogi Berra


If you claim God doesn't exist and you want me to believe it, you will need to prove it scientifically.

If you make the claim, you will need the science.

In science, the same rules apply to any claims about reality.

The argument that something doesn't exist until it is proven is actually irrational. Most of reality is still unknown. Science has only tested a portion of it. And the entire business of science is studying the unknown.

To the zealot, nothing is unknown. They think all things are true or false. The idea of the unknown baffles an ignorant person.

The argument that what i can't see today, or refuse to acknowldge today, doesn't exist is an irrational argument. Lots of things exist thar we haven't learned about yet.

We don't, actually know everything, so drawing conclusions on the basis of ignorance is purely illogical and irrational.

And entirely unscientific.

Two hundred years ago white Americans claimed "Blacks will never be executives. None of them have graduated college as far as we know"

"Women can't serve in the military. They are the weaker sex. That's why they haven't been in the military for as long as our American history has lasted.... And they are emotional so they can't vote either, or run businesses."

This is actually an argument in defense of ignorance. Ignorance can not be equated to knowledge. Only exploration and discovery leads to knowledge. Not ignorance.

Proof of Theism is simple and obvious. We exist. Our existence did not start itself. Either something was always there, or there would be non-existence forever.

Since we exist and existence can’t start itself, existence is eternal.

Definition of God: That which is eternal.

>>Believers in God have the burden of proof, not atheists<<

Hahahaha ....

Well if these believers want these atheist to believe them on their word, yes
.... but ....
otherwise no believer owes anything to an atheist and the atheist has nothing to offer him that can ameliorate his faith and believe.

A man is walking in the streets seemingly going somewhere. A person asks him if he can walk up with him. Why not, be welcome. Others follow and gradually a group is formed. Then a newcomers starts to question the man that is followed by the others, as to where he goes and why he poses as a leader. The man looks at him smiles and walks on.

After all he had never asked others to follow him.

How can you prove the existence of something in scientific terms when our science is so young and limited?

We know nothing.

We can’t vaguely fathom what the universe is about. As Feynman himself put it, the universe is stranger than we can imagine, let alone prove.

You want to prove the existence of something as or more complex than the universe itself when you know virtually nothing about the universe.

It’s just incoherent rubbish - there’s no logic or sense to it.

The most powerful emotion we have cannot even be proven to exist. If some dunce atheist is looking for the scientific proof for love where does he find it? So do we deny love exists?

if we cannot even prove or understand consciousness, let alone love, how could you prove the existence of the entity that give rise to those things.

We are a million miles away from any kind of science or proof capable of identifying something, that if it exists, is simply way way more complex than our little pips could ever imagine.

So it may as well be unbeliavable to those who require proof, and it will always be for generations to come, because it’s obvious to anyone with a shred of common sense that even if a creator or deity were to exist, it’s existence and nature, would be so way beyond the understanding of a bunch of hairless apes who’ve only recently just climbed down from the trees on a rock orbiting an ordinary star in an ordinary solar system in an ordinary galaxy of a universe where there might be many more.

How arrogant or plain ignorant for that hairless ape to believe he knows the about the existence or non-existence of something as extra-ordinary as God should be measured by their system of thought called human science.

What a joke ! Where are the bigger thinkers? Please put forward a stronger argument.

Here let me try to take this out of the emotional context of leaving a religion and into a logical case.

Let's call these Reality and Me syllogisms:

Here are two pairs of mutually exclusive rationalist assumptions (leaving aside Quantum Mechanics )

There are two state's in reality.
A. Something exists
B.Something doesn't exist.

There are two states of knowledge which are independent of the two states of reality.
C. I know
D. I don't know

Therefore there are four potential states implied by these four simple premeses.

AC. Something exists and I know it..
AD. Something exists and I don't know it.

BA.Something doesn't exist and I know it.
BB.Something doesn't exist and I don't know it.

Navabi''s argument is that both AD and BB are not possible for the Atheist. That is false. They can apply to anyone.

Here is another corollary to the above. This a little more complicated...

Let's add four more premeses independent of A,B, C and and D.

These two are mutually exclusive
E. Evidence has been searched for and collected to support A

F. No evidence has been searched for and collected to support A.

Here are two more independent rational premeses that are mutually exclusive. .

G. Evidence has been searched for and collected to support B
H. No evidence has been searched for and collected to support B.

Navabi's argument is that H = G and therefore B results.

That is also false. H and B are independent. And H and G ate mutually exclusive.

Hence Navabi's argument is irrational.

Navabi is smart to use the courtroom analogy, because our legal system doesn't recognize God. "God made me do it" can't be disproven but doesn't fly. In that case plead insanity. It explains why religious extremists believe the law doesn't apply to them.

Science isn't necessary to stand on solid footing.

The argument is simpler than we suspect:

Being an atheist doesn't mean that we know god doesn't exist.

It simply means that there isn't yet sufficient evidence to alter one's life on the basis of such a belief system.

Now if god or some supreme being does make her appearance then that same atheist will accordingly change their mind.

The idea of proofs and the like is a bad analogy.

I will give an example that is more inductive aligned.

I argue that I don't think Neptune exists. Therefore I am sometimes referred to as an "a-Neptunite."

I see no evidence that he lives under the sea or elsewhere, even though I am an oceanographer by trade.

However, one day Neptune miraculously appears and show me his powers.

I change my mind.

But, and here is the key, BEFORE that happens there are no compelling reasons for me to align
myself with anything Neptune related (such as praying to him, feeling guilty that I don't attend his
wave masses, and so on).

Therefore, the atheist is simply stating the obvious and living by it.

This, btw, applies to anything of a metaphysical nature and relates to our responses to it.

Why do ‘believers in god’ have the burden of proof? It’s their ‘belief’ that god exists, not a claim.

Such a person, a believer, has no need to furnish any proof at all.

Let us now go one step further to someone who says ‘I know that God exists’. A mystic who knows God exists is saying that he has subjective proof found for himself through meditation.

Let us go 1-step about someone who says ‘we know God exist’. This would require objective proof, of which there is none. But it still doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist, just that our levels of science or measurement or sensors, can’t detect God and probably will never be able too.

The whole argument is farcical and illogical.

Some really great comments recently.

Relating to some recent comments of mine, I just coincidentally came across and read this article and couldn't resist posting it here.

Apparently there's a cure. Who'd of thunk it?! Excellent, intimate and honest article, imo:


"That’s partially why I don’t tell many people what I experienced during the clinical trial. But mostly it’s because the journeys were profound, deeply personal, and filled with insights that evade simple description. People who haven’t done psychedelics don’t get it; and often even people who have done them for fun don’t get it. The reaction is always the same: “You tripped for science. So what?”

Like all trip stories, mine sound crazy at worst and clichéd at best. But I can tell you this much: at the peak of my experience, my sense of self dissolved and I unified with an abiding force that permeated all existence — something that felt conscious, vast, benevolent, eternal, peaceful, and furiously important. After sitting up on the couch six hours later, covered in snot and tears, I struggled to put words to an encounter that felt more real than everyday reality — a mind-bendy paradox characteristic of many mystical experiences."

"While the non-drug group was more likely to label what they encountered “God,” and psychedelic users “Ultimate Reality,” both characterized the experience in many similar ways.

“Really what the two groups call it is just semantics,” said lead author Roland Griffiths, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “The astonishing piece is that participants — whether they label their encounter God, emissary of god, or Ultimate Reality — use the same descriptors: it’s conscious, benevolent, intelligent, sacred, eternal, and all-knowing.”"

"Perhaps that is why, in a few blessed months after the trial, I glided through life on a cloud of equanimity and intensely present joy. When I awoke each day, the soft light of morning felt like a sweet drink I had never tasted, but one that I suddenly knew I deserved. I told everyone I loved that I loved them, two times over. Walking to work I was content to exist in the radiant suchness of all things, felt myself a purposeful part of existence, a rightful creature among creatures. My coworkers asked me if I had joined a cult. “You’re so zen,” they marveled. “What happened to you?” I wrote in my journal, twice on one page without realizing it: “I no longer feel like a prisoner of my own existence.”

One day, as my boyfriend drove me through unremarkable downtown Silver Spring, Maryland on an unremarkable day, everything felt remarkable. Surprising myself, I placed my hand on his and declared “I am just so happy to be alive.” And I watched his face turn from utter bewilderment to deep gratitude."

"Even after my depressive symptoms reemerged — and they did — the meaningfulness of my encounters endured. It’s not that my despair had diminished; the frame around it expanded. And in that vast blessed blank space, I find divine okayness. The sense of being held by a great, ineffable Beyond makes it easier to hold my own suffering, and others’.

To study co-author Bob Jesse, founder of the Council on Spiritual Practices, the most promising finding relates not to the therapeutic potential of God encounters, but their surprising effect on religious tolerance: a high proportion of both groups reported increased understanding in religious or spiritual traditions other than their own.

I’ll admit: I was surprised to find that after my experience I no longer looked at places of worship with disdain. I guess I’ve become sympathetic towards the universal human impulse to self-transcend. Once a “secular” and inconsistent meditator, I now sit daily. I joined a weekly sangha and dedicated myself to reading Buddhist texts, seeking some tradition to scaffold my changed world."

"When, during a follow-up session in the clinical trial, a researcher asked if i still identified as an atheist, the question didn’t surprise me as much as my inability to answer. Suddenly, the label felt like a shirt that had shrunk in the dryer: something that served me for a time, but no longer fit. What do you call someone who believes that things are likely better than they appear, and thinks that in light of this fact we should just be kinder to one another? Someone who suspects things are more mysterious than they seem, and more connected than we’ll ever know? Someone with an abiding conviction, grown out of a direct encounter, that there are things of ultimate importance that transcend ordinary waking consciousness?"

Hi Neptunelives

What you wrote is very rational and agreeable.
You wrote
"But, and here is the key, BEFORE that happens there are no compelling reasons for me to align
myself with anything Neptune related (such as praying to him, feeling guilty that I don't attend his
wave masses, and so on).

"Therefore, the atheist is simply stating the obvious and living by it."

That's very good. Live according to your beliefs and experience. But keep an open mind.

Unfortunately, the Atheist position Navabi presents is conclusive, lacking any evidence, and that is false.

Neptune is not a part of your life. But if you study the ocean, you know there is much we don't understand yet. and science is learning more every day. Perhaps some fish or intelligent form of sea life existing long ago will emerge as the basis for the belief.

But if anyone actually believes in Neptune today, then as a scientist and a psychologist, I'd like to learn more about the basis of their belief.

And as an oceanographer, would you explore, or insist they are wrong, without any evidence, as Navabi and others are doing?

It's one thing to say "I've got no evidence of Neptune so for practical purposes I carry no belief in Neptune. "

That's a good Atheist.

Sadly that is not the Atheist argument Navabi is presenting and others are defending.

Navabi is claiming that as a fact of reality for all people Neptune doesn't exist and has never existed. Without evidence.

His argument is conclusive based on ignorance. Just like these. ..

1700s American
"Everywhere I look no blacks have graduated college, therefore I believe they can't. "
"No women have been in the army, voted or run businesses. I believe therefore they can't. When they do let me know. But I'm making my hiring and voting choices on what I believe. "

"When you chop wood as small as you like you will always have just wood."

If someone else believes in a round earth and you see only a flat earth everywhere you look, do you have a right to impose your belief in a flat earth?

This is Navabi's argument. That other people's beliefs are wrong, in ignorance, and claims to know some single universal truth, even though science hasn't explored most of reality.

Is your conclusion so strong that you dismiss their claim?

Or do you ask, "I'm interested to know more about how you came to that conclusion, pleasee tell me. "

It is one thing to say "I don't know but I'm living based on what I see. "

It is another thing to say "If I can't see it, it doesn't exist and those who claim it does are wrong. " That's irrational.

We have enough information to decide how to live. But not enough to conclude how others should live.

You have enough to claim you have no evidence of Neptune.

Bit not enough to conclude that someone else's witness is false.

Very simple indeed.

Ha Manjit!
‘Nobody expects the Reality-based Inquisition’…..
Now you will stay in the comfy chair until lunchtime, with only a cup of coffee at eleven!
Which brings me to another conversation:
Arthur - The lady of the Lake, her arm clad in purest shimmering samite, held Excalibur aloft from the bosom of the waters to signify that by Divine Providence … I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur … that is why I am your King.
Dennis - Look, strange women lying on their backs in ponds handing over swords …. that’s no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses not from some farcical aquatic ceremony……

Thank God for Monty P.

Re the mushroom story:
‘my sense of self dissolved and I unified with an abiding force that permeated all existence - something that felt conscious, vast, benevolent, eternal, peaceful, and furiously important.’
- I can get this especially the vast, peaceful bit.
‘… the radiant suchness of all things …. a purposeful part of existence … ‘I no longer feel like a prisoner of my own existence.’
a bit Buddhist yet quite profound imo. The last bit - a good description/take on getting passed separation/limitation- this made sense to me.
‘I guess I’ve become sympathetic towards the universal human impulse to self-transcend’
seems like this is part of our wiring. An evolutionary thing in my view.
‘What do you call someone who believes that things are likely better than they appear, and thinks that in light of this fact we should just be kinder to one another?’
sometimes hard to keep in mind, yet the last bit - definitely the way to go. Experiences of connection, integration and expansion - it becomes harder to be less kind when one feels part of/ connected to everything.

The element often missing in science? How is ‘heart’ incorporated into the Scientific Method?
As Plain Old Mary recently wrote:
‘The most powerful emotion we have cannot even be proven to exist. If some dunce atheist is looking for the scientific proof for love where does he find it? So do we deny love exists’?
well said (though ‘he’ could have been a different gender :-))
As Kornfield says:
‘Spiritual life is not about knowing much, but about loving much.’

All a bit flowery (bring out the comfy chair!), but I think this is a major part of the equation. In a general sense, can people be raised to have both a well honed ability to detect bullshit/think critically as well as have another anchor in the heart that manifests as compassionate, tolerant, helpful behaviour?

Listening to the radio this morning I was impressed by how well informed, insightful and ‘together’ the person being interviewed was - she was a scientist working for NASA, but also an Anglican priest. So in my view a good example of heart/head working in sync. Proof’s not so much of an issue for this person.

@ "An atheist doesn't need to justify her lack of belief any further. This keeps the burden of proof on the side of the claimant where it belongs. The person making a claim has to provide the evidence for its validity."

The mystic counterpoints "I don't have to justify my belief either. Nor
should you believe any spiritual claims unless you've validated those
claims experientially within yourself. Here's a path for actualizing the
inner experiences I've had. Follow it if you're interested. If, after
sincere effort, you conclude its methods are flawed or the promises
are hollow, look elsewhere. But, please let me know if you find a
more effective method and I'll adopt it as well."

Hi Dungeness
Elegantly stayed. Thank you!

OK, logic II
Distinct but not independent premeses based on learning theory and evidence from physiological psychology...

Z. We weigh the credibility of what we have labeled, and attend only to the high credibility items, rejecting the others as noise.

Y. We translate these symbols into labels using the dictionary of our language, and the Encyclopedia, largely unconscious, of our distant and recent past.

X. We consciously witness these symbols as direct experiences or of the witnesses of others, including scientific reports.

W. The human brain, and its subconscious language of conditioning, genetics and learning transform sensory information into sensory and conceptual symbols. These symbolic messages are then transmitted to our conscious brain as "perceptions" or "direct experience"

What we perceive as facts and experiences are symbols that have already been reconstructed around our conditioning even before we see them.

Ergo whatever science or experience reports must go through these steps and therefore all we can know of them are our weighted and conscious labels. Our interpretations cannot be taken as universal fact. Even what we belive to be fact can only be subjective.

Hi Brian Ji

I think the burden of proof lies with everyone.

And not Just to others, but ourselves, first and foremost.

"A Satguru should be accepted only after thorough inquiry."

Aren't we discussing what it means to be thorough? Aren't we discussing what those can / should be?

Isn't THIS, COC, Satsang?


Nice review, though, in the main post. Kudos to Armin Navabi for having seen the light of reason, despite having started out hobbled within all of those superstitions; and kudos for having the courage and strength to "come out", no doubt despite the personal risk.

It's that evil bent babas birthday today! Happy birthday you crooked baba of beas. Your agents such as spensor and his puppet master Lucifer and satan will be celebrating with you. You are a land mafia and hiding as a guru !

GSD your days are numbered and karma will be served

“Believers in God have the burden of proof“

Wrong - a believer owes no proof to anyone, atheist or otherwise.

There’s a name for people that think they can tell others what to believe in or not - fascist.

If I believe in god that is my business, not your business. And I most certainly don’t owe you or anyone else any sort of explanation for my own beliefs - nothing in the slightest whatsoever.

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