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Atheist Experience
The achilles heel of atheist argumentation: the reality mythos

Disclaimer: First time posting on this forum.

Background: Atheist Experience TV show pretty impressive, came here to discuss with some articulate atheists (ones who enjoy more than the garden variety religion-baiting and sarcasm).

Comment: Routinely, atheists reject claims based on the lack of evidence. Typically they use this word evidence as shorthand for:

"that which can be experienced through the senses as a component or attribute of reality."

Nevertheless, it has yet to be demonstrated by any atheist that "reality" is either known or knowable, as a matter of conclusive, repeatable evaluation consisting of a published, explicitly enumerated, finite number of steps.

It goes without saying that this does nothing to substantiate the claims of any religion.

But it also goes without saying that this refutes the atheist claim (very popular atheist meme) that atheists reject belief for those things that cannot be demonstrated according to the principles of logic and valid deductive inference.

Clearly this is either incorrect, or else please provide the steps.

Yes, we have an assumption that there is an objective reality. We can't prove it. If you're advocating for solipsism, then you win. We can't win an argument against you.

But if you think that reality is a figment of your imagination, then why do you eat?

Actually depending on how one defines "prove"-- it can.

"Nevertheless, it has yet to be demonstrated by any atheist that "reality" is either known or knowable, as a matter of conclusive, repeatable evaluation consisting of a published, explicitly enumerated, finite number of steps. "

Geez dude please speak english. What are you trying to say? That reality is just our imagination. Please. All atheist are saying is that we don't believe there has been enough conclusive evidence for a deity. Thats all.

I think your mistake is assuming that what you you perceive as reality has bearing on reality itself. Physical reality would still exist if you died tomorrow. If that does not convince you, then think about the dinosaurs (65mya).

"I hate reality but it's still the best place to get a good steak." Woody Allen

I saw "The Matrix". So what? Your refutation of the atheist claim by bringing up the tired old argument that "The World Could Have Been Created Last Thursday" strikes me as head-in-the-sand-stupid.

I believe in evidence in a real world. If you cannot show it, I cannot believe it.

EF Tymac said, "Comment: Routinely, atheists reject claims based on the lack of evidence. Typically they use this word evidence as shorthand for: "that which can be experienced through the senses as a component or attribute of reality."

We call reality our perceptual experiences, which is subjective, but that does not mean there is no reality. The fact is some people's perceptual experiences are different from others, so, they may have views (based on myths) or based on facts that are wrong; however, that doesn't mean that reality doesn't exist outside those preconceptions about it.

EF Tymac said, "Nevertheless, it has yet to be demonstrated by any atheist that "reality" is either known or knowable, as a matter of conclusive, repeatable evaluation consisting of a published, explicitly enumerated, finite number of steps. It goes without saying that this does nothing to substantiate the claims of any religion. But it also goes without saying that this refutes the atheist claim (very popular atheist meme) that atheists reject belief for those things that cannot be demonstrated according to the principles of logic and valid deductive inference. Clearly this is either incorrect, or else please provide the steps."

What is true today is subject to future discoveries, therefore there is no absolute truth. However, saying "we do not know what reality is" is based on a viewpoint. Science has done a very good job of finding all of the answers so far - religion hasn't done a thing for us. Even if it were true that "reality is just beyond us" we can't just give the same status to unsubstantiated claims and beliefs as we currently give to scientific theories, which have survived testing. Science looks for facts that are not based on anyone's (religion) or views. Scientists don't assume anything (is real or is true) they approach every theory with extreme skepticism, and they first assume that any theory is false. Scientists don't prove a theory is true and they know that theories will change (reality) because they know that there will always be something else to discover. That doesn't mean the theory is wrong. Scientific theories are explanations of natural phenomena derived from logically testable observations and hypotheses. Laws describe them and a theory explains them. You don't "prove" a theory it is submitted for peer review to be falsified. That means all of the scientists in that field will try to falsify the theory (disprove the theory) and only if they can't does it become a theory. The idea is to remove personal bias from the process of seeking knowledge. We have figured out a lot of things (without knowing everything) we know how life and the universe came into existence and that has made it possible for doctors to cure diseases and man to go to the moon.

Even if we can't prove reality exists as we understand it at the present time; there is still no reason to believe it doesn't, we can't just start believing we don't really know what's real without a reason. In mathematics a proposition that has been or is to be proved on the basis of explicit assumptions is a mathematical theorem. There are things that we assume are real because it is extremely unlikely that we are all being deceived by an evil magician.

Human reasoning can't be used to validate the theory "we don't know what reality is" because in order to validate any theory human reasoning would have to be reliable, and if the magician or "designer" theory also needs man's validation then He's not indispensable to any known (real) theory because a magician or "designer" that needs man to validate "Him" can't be all that necessary. Anything that can't be defined or perceived can't be said to exist because if it can't be tested it is no more than an unsupported claim- pseudoscience.

If we don't know what reality is -or the universe and all the laws of physics are a figment of our imaginations (a great story) but why are we all imagining the physical world exactly the same way...the sky is blue, the grass is green etc. Don't tell me, let me guess, it's a massive delusion? But at some point I think "someone" needs to prove something.

Perception is a firsthand form of awareness. I don't need to construct a proof in order to validate it. It is on the basis of perception that I can recognize that object (for instance) an apple is not a prune. From this instance of perception, I already have the material to form the principle: If an apple exists, it's an apple (facts united into a whole) discovered firsthand in reality.

People can imagine all kinds of absurdities - but it's not what reality is. There is an objective reality. Reality is not about dreams or nightmares or (what we wish were true) it's what we have evidence for.. There are so many worthwhile things for scientists and us to wonder about.

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." Richard P. Feynman

Ah yes! It's the old Kantian conundrum. Since we can only have a proximal knowledge of what appears to be, then we cannot know what really is. For a sound, strong, and thorough rebuttal, you should try reading Ernst Cassirer's Problem of Knowledge. Bertrand Russell also did a fairly good job of refuting that argument. That our knowledge is proximal does in no way mean that there is no external reality. It only means that our individual perceptions may be flawed. By combining the information gathered from multiple observers and by comparing that information across multiple instances, it then becomes possible to eliminate flawed perceptions to arrive, via inference, at a sufficiently strong conclusion that there is an objective external reality. The only other alternative is that there is no reality. If there is no reality, then, once again, there are no gods.

If there is an objective, external reality that can be measured, then there is no evidence for gods; if there is no objective, external reality, then there can be no positive statements made. For that last, please be sure to check in with Carnap and the other logical positivists.

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