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God Doesn't Exist
#1

God Doesn't Exist
This is my favorite argument for why God doesn't exist:

Science has shown that consciousness is brain-dependent.  All sorts of studies and observations support this: dementia, brain injuries, localization of functions, the effects of drugs, how consciousness changes with brain development, sleep and dreaming, and so on.

That means that when the brain dies, consciousness disappears.  So there is no afterlife.

Without a brain, there is no consciousness.  Therefore an immaterial God with consciousness cannot exist.
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#2

God Doesn't Exist
My favorite reason there are no gods is they have been relentlessly sought for centuries by every stripe of mind from loco to genius and to this day no credible research into the ways and means of every phenomena has ever found itself on a path that points to "a god musta done that".  From the sub-atomic to the furthest reaches of the universe our understanding of "how anything is" has grown exponentially and not only has no "god" ever been even inferred in that growing bank of knowledge, as it grows it leaves less and fewer places for a god to hide.
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#3

God Doesn't Exist
In short: the supernatural does not exist, and I've been saying this or years.
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#4

God Doesn't Exist
God(s), in some form, will continue existing as an abstract concept until the human race ends.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#5

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 05:03 PM)brewerb Wrote: God(s), in some form, will continue existing as an abstract concept until the human race ends.

…or evolves beyond it…
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#6

God Doesn't Exist
Brain dependent doesn't mean solely brain dependent, and even if it did, the argument would still be a non sequitur.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#7

God Doesn't Exist
I don't even argue. I just say to "show me proof. Not Bibles." And push away when they start proselytizing so I can planespot Greenland on YouTube, sometimes under Northern Lights, which we do not have in So Cal.

Is this sig thing on?
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#8

God Doesn't Exist
When I say show me the proof I tend to receive anecdotes, abstractions or arguments. I've stopped asking for proof.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#9

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 02:31 PM)airportkid Wrote: My favorite reason there are no gods is they have been relentlessly sought for centuries by every stripe of mind from loco to genius and to this day no credible research into the ways and means of every phenomena has ever found itself on a path that points to "a god musta done that".  From the sub-atomic to the furthest reaches of the universe our understanding of "how anything is" has grown exponentially and not only has no "god" ever been even inferred in that growing bank of knowledge, as it grows it leaves less and fewer places for a god to hide.
If that "bank of knowledge" is ever lost of reduced, the gaps the gods live in will grow once again. Theism feeds on ignorance and fear. On some level they want to destroy knowledge or limit it to their elites so that there will be a large and steady supply of sheeple.

The Internet must be the most hated and alarming development in the history of mankind to an authoritarian theist, providing they have enough awareness to even understand that this is the source of much of the impudence (and -- worse -- indifference) concerning their beliefs. The printing press must have been a similar problem for them, in its own way.
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#10

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 12:10 PM)Alan V Wrote: This is my favorite argument for why God doesn't exist:

Science has shown that consciousness is brain-dependent.  All sorts of studies and observations support this: dementia, brain injuries, localization of functions, the effects of drugs, how consciousness changes with brain development, sleep and dreaming, and so on.

That means that when the brain dies, consciousness disappears.  So there is no afterlife.

Without a brain, there is no consciousness.  Therefore an immaterial God with consciousness cannot exist.

Strictly speaking, what's been demonstrated is that the manifestation of consciousness in the physical world is dependent on the brain. No big shock there, physical consciousness requires a physical medium, and that's where most of us would end it.

The counter-argument is that consciousness extends beyond the physical. Whether they call it a spirit or a soul, certain people try to imbue consciousness with a supernatural component that doesn't require a fleshy home and grant non-physical consciousness a supernatural dwelling.

I suspect that a lot of that stems from mixing a large measure of stuperstition with the intriguing fact that your mind frequently extends beyond its biological life-support system. Right now you're reading a piece of my mind, bounced off a few satellite relays, flung down thousands of km of fiber optic cable, stored on magnetic medium, and displayed on a plasma screen. The mind-brain system has some fascinating and very complex emergent behaviours, so it's easy for people to tack magical powers onto them.

The counter-counter-argument is that if this spirit/soul/whatever you're calling your magical thinking today is in any way capable of interacting with our physical brain then why doesn't it ever interact with our physical scientific instruments? It isn't as if people haven't looked.
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#11

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 06:08 PM)Paleophyte Wrote: Strictly speaking, what's been demonstrated is that the manifestation of consciousness in the physical world is dependent on the brain. No big shock there, physical consciousness requires a physical medium, and that's where most of us would end it.

The counter-argument is that consciousness extends beyond the physical. Whether they call it a spirit or a soul, certain people try to imbue consciousness with a supernatural component that doesn't require a fleshy home and grant non-physical consciousness a supernatural dwelling.

Researchers have shown that fantasizing, dreaming, and thinking are all brain-dependent too.  They can measure the activity of certain areas of the brain and compare them with subjective reports after the fact.  So consciousness research is no longer limited to behaviorism.

Without consciousness, "spirit" and "soul" are little more than metaphors for "legacy," just as "God" is at best a metaphor for "truth."
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#12

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 05:20 PM)Dānu Wrote: Brain dependent doesn't mean solely brain dependent, and even if it did, the argument would still be a non sequitur.

Consciousness requires a material substrate.  So far scientists have not shown that such a substrate can be anything other than a living brain in a certain state.  So there is no grounds for believing in the existence of any immaterial soul or God, either of which is conscious.

You will have to explain the "non sequitur" part to someone as slow as I am.
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#13

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 05:14 PM)pattylt Wrote:
(03-29-2024, 05:03 PM)brewerb Wrote: God(s), in some form, will continue existing as an abstract concept until the human race ends.

…or evolves beyond it…

This is interesting, evolves how?
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#14

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 06:50 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(03-29-2024, 05:20 PM)Dānu Wrote: Brain dependent doesn't mean solely brain dependent, and even if it did, the argument would still be a non sequitur.

Consciousness requires a material substrate.  So far scientists have not shown that such a substrate can be anything other than a living brain in a certain state.  So there is no grounds for believing in the existence of any immaterial soul or God, either of which is conscious.

You will have to explain the "non sequitur" part to someone as slow as I am.

You know what a non sequitur is so why ask? And now you're making arguments from ignorance. And you're anthropomorphizing.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#15

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 05:20 PM)Dānu Wrote: Brain dependent doesn't mean solely brain dependent, and even if it did, the argument would still be a non sequitur.

I'm curious, since you've made these sorts of arguments before, if this is just you being let's say 'logically robust' or whether you actually believe there is, or could likely or not be, more to consciousness than the brain? For me, if I'm being absolutely strict about it, I'd say it's beyond doubt (for me) that the content of consciousness is solely brain-dependent, ie there are neural correlates of all brain states, but the actual experience of consciousness... ie experiencing something as opposed to not experiencing, is something I can't directly infer from that. I think it's a very reasonable assumption, but I accept that it perhaps can never be proven how, or even if, consciousness itself, rather than its specific content, arises/emerges from the brain. But for me, Occam's Razor strongly suggests it does, and that's enough for me.
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#16

God Doesn't Exist
It's conceivable that some other structure or organization or circumstance might lead to an effect similar to or recognizable by us as consciousness.
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#17

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 08:09 PM)Rhythmcs Wrote: It's conceivable that some other structure or organization or circumstance might lead to an effect similar to or recognizable by us as consciousness.

Okay, that's fair, but personally I think regarding our own consciousness at least, it would go very much against the grain to assume that though the content of our experience is dictated by the brain, the actual fact of experiencing itself, came from some other source. In other words, I'd personally treat that as an 'extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence' that goes against the much more likely, from Occam's Razor POV, view that it emerges in one way or another from the brain. Possible maybe, but certainly not my default position, and not one I'd really see much point in exploring unless there were really compelling reasons to do so, but that's just me.
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#18

God Doesn't Exist
Oh I'd have a ton of questions about biological redundancy in that case, sure.
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#19

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 09:34 PM)Rhythmcs Wrote: Oh I'd have a ton of questions about biological redundancy in that case, sure.

I mean I know we've had some interesting discussions about this sort of thing in the past, particularly with Bennyboy, about things like whether the universe could be conscious etc... which basically stem from the questions of what the underlying 'substrate' of consciousness is... is it matter or function etc? I'm pretty sure I'm in the 'function[al]ist' camp on that score, and I think you are as well, with comp mind? So I guess I'm saying I don't think it's intrinsic to matter but to function, but ultimately I accept that that is just an opinion, and one I doubt we can ever prove one way or the other. But one consequence of that view would be that if there is to be considered any other type of consciousness 'out there'... such as a universal consciousness etc... it would still have to stem from some sort of system, whatever the constituent parts of that might be.
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#20

God Doesn't Exist
Considering the concept of godibois was concocted by a creature that was fearful of the mysterious unknown, ignorant to the natural sciences that surrounded them, and arrogant enough to conclude it must all be for them, is precisely why the argument for the existence of godibois is illogical, ridiculous, outrageously preposterous, nonsensical fiddle faddle.
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#21

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 07:06 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(03-29-2024, 06:50 PM)Alan V Wrote: Consciousness requires a material substrate.  So far scientists have not shown that such a substrate can be anything other than a living brain in a certain state.  So there is no grounds for believing in the existence of any immaterial soul or God, either of which is conscious.

You will have to explain the "non sequitur" part to someone as slow as I am.

You know what a non sequitur is so why ask?  And now you're making arguments from ignorance.  And you're anthropomorphizing.

I disagree.  I was making an argument from evidence.

Philosophers may speculate otherwise, but I'm not a philosopher.
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#22

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 12:10 PM)Alan V Wrote: This is my favorite argument for why God doesn't exist:

Science has shown that consciousness is brain-dependent.  All sorts of studies and observations support this: dementia, brain injuries, localization of functions, the effects of drugs, how consciousness changes with brain development, sleep and dreaming, and so on.

That means that when the brain dies, consciousness disappears.  So there is no afterlife.

Without a brain, there is no consciousness.  Therefore an immaterial God with consciousness cannot exist.

Basically you are arguing:
P1: Science has shown that consciousness is brain-dependent.
P2: When the brain dies, consciousness disappears; therefore, there is no afterlife.
Conclusion: Therefore, an immaterial God with consciousness cannot exist.

Your argument is in rough shape. As you wrote it, it is a non sequitur--the conclusion does not follow from the premises. All your premises show (if true) is that consciousness in humans is brain dependent.  That's a tremendous leap from God does not exist.

If you supply the hidden premises that you seem to rely on, it becomes a question-begging (circular) argument for Naturalism.

Hidden Premise A: Only phenomena that are directly observable or explainable through empirical evidence can be considered real or valid.
Hidden Premise B: Any claims about the existence of God must be compatible with the current scientific understanding of the natural world.
Hidden Premise C: If consciousness is entirely dependent on the brain and there is no afterlife, then the existence of an immaterial God with consciousness would be implausible or impossible.
P1: Science has shown that consciousness is brain-dependent.
P2: When the brain dies, consciousness disappears; therefore, there is no afterlife.
Conclusion: Therefore, an immaterial God with consciousness cannot exist.  really, Naturalism is True

The existence of an immaterial God with consciousness is what's in question. You presuppose a naturalistic worldview that denies the existence of God. The argument doesn't provide evidence or reasoning to justify this assumption, making it circular.
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#23

God Doesn't Exist
(03-30-2024, 08:06 AM)Alan V Wrote:
(03-29-2024, 07:06 PM)Dānu Wrote: You know what a non sequitur is so why ask?  And now you're making arguments from ignorance.  And you're anthropomorphizing.

I disagree.  I was making an argument from evidence.

Philosophers may speculate otherwise, but I'm not a philosopher.

Then you can only conclude that God probably doesn't exist, providing your logic is sound. It isn't.

When you're making a philosophical argument you assume the burdens of that and act as a philosopher. Your problem is you suck at it.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#24

God Doesn't Exist
(03-30-2024, 12:04 PM)SteveII Wrote: The existence of an immaterial God with consciousness is what's in question. You presuppose a naturalistic worldview that denies the existence of God. The argument doesn't provide evidence or reasoning to justify this assumption, making it circular.

That's an inaccurate way to show the fallacy of Alan's argument. It's true that Alan's argument is non-sequitur. It doesn't flow that the inexistence of the human soul and human afterlife prevents the existence of a personal/conscious god. It imply that said god would basically work exactly like any other animal on Earth which is a big leap to take. You could perfectly have a mortal humans without souls and afterlife and a god existing. Nowhere in the argument are the property of said god addressed 


Also, naturalism is not opposed or deny the existence of a god, it simply state that if there is one, that entity will be natural. Of course many theists, including yourself, tend to define their god as being outside of existence yet as real as a chair or a rock floating in space (the famous transcendental quality). This of course cannot apply within naturalism. Your deity though could absolutely exist in nature though it would require you to admit that there is, as of yet, no solid evidence for it.
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#25

God Doesn't Exist
(03-29-2024, 05:20 PM)Dānu Wrote: Brain dependent doesn't mean solely brain dependent, and even if it did, the argument would still be a non sequitur.

I was going to say something like this. Consciousness is an emergent property, and something science has not yet fully explained. Of course there is no reason to then go and insert magic or god as an explanation, but the gap to squish a lot of wibbly wobbly woo into is still undeniably there.
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