I am at my computer science class and I felt like brainstorming.

 

Proving a negative. That's what most theists require us to do when they say "Prove there is no God!". That is not how it works.

 

Everybody knows that the burden of proof lies on the one who makes the claim. I will not go into detail on this, because it is plainly obvious, we have allot of threads and most people here understand the scientific method.

 

However, you can disproof something, but, to disproof it, you have to proove something else that is in contradiction with the current claim and has significantly more evidence than the other.

 

Three cases:

 

1. Newtons theory of gravity. Einstein discovers relativity. Einstein completes newtons theory and restructures it.

 

2. Theory that storks are bringing babies from the sky at the doorstep. Actual evidence that supports the theory of birth overwhelms the first, thus completely nullifiing it.

 

3. The theory that explains how the universe came into being at the Big-Bang. Black-hole genesis theory. Time-space folding. Quantum instability. Others that I am not familliar with ( hope I did not invent them ). They have equal, insufficient evidence to decide which is the valid one, but all of them are possible.

 

Proving a negative is not how it works. Proving something else, that makes the reffered theory obsolete, is how you can disproove it, by creating a conflict with it.

 

What is your oppinion on this matter? The battle of observation and thought is strong in this one.

Tags: negative, proof

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I can prove certain negatives, but they are limited examples in constrained circumstances, and not what is usually meant by "proving a negative".

For example I have a large wooden box. I claim, "There are no ravens in this box of mine". I can prove this claim by providing evidence - I open the box and, lo, there are no ravens inside.

Not very helpful, but it is something I always try to keep in mind.
Yes, but a new piece of evidence, creates another hypothesis ( that there is air in the box ) that discards the previous one.
How do you (or we) know that there are not invisible ravens in your box? Or very tiny, even microscopic, ones? Or maybe they're there, but you didn't notice them - are we supposed to take your word for it? Or we check ourselves, but we didn't notice them? What one person may accept as proof may differ from what someone else does?
It's completely impossible to "prove that there is no god"
However, proving that the god of the Bible, the god that Christians believe in, proving that he doesn't exist, is easy. Genesis says the universe was created in 6 days. We know this to be false. Genesis says that the Earth existed before anything else in the universe. This, too, is false. In order for the literal god of the Bible to exist, these things would have to be true and they are quite obviously not. It frustrates me when Christians say I can't disprove their god, because frankly, I already have. Saying "you can't disprove Jaweh" is like saying "you can't disprove that Thor creates lightning on his flying stallion". We already know the real mechanism behind the phenomena.
Agreed.
The issue of proving the non-existence of the Jewish God, Yahweh is basically a contradiction in terms...and impossible.

However, let's play a game that we are in a court of law and the case has been brought before us to dis/prove given the evidence contained in the scriptures, the existence of the Jewish god:

Case for as reflected in the Torah: FAIL : WHY? The Torah has been proven to be substantially incorrect in a number of places such as the myth of creation (replaced by the theory of evolution), Noah's mythical flood (proven that all the animals of the world could never have been taken aboard such a small craft). In addition, the incorrect facts are reflected (earth is flat, Sun stopped etc etc) and evidence in conflict (two versions of creation don't synchronise). On the strength of the poor reliability of the evidence placed before the court, the court finds for the defense...there is no evidence that an omnipotent god exists and could consequently have inspired the Torah.

Case for Jehovah aka Yahweh aka God as contained in the Old Testament :FAIL: As above

Case for Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Father in the New Testament: FAIL
The evidence submitted by the authors of the Gospels is clearly in conflict with each other and contradict each other in material facts such as the birth of Jesus, the words uttered in his death throes on the cross etc. etc. The evidence of the gospels must therefore be rejected as unacceptable. It has furthermore been brought to the court's attention that the writers of the Gospels as well as the epistles of Paul etc were written by persons unknown (mostly in Greek cities of the time) in most cases and have been largely fabricated on hearsay evidence which is unacceptable in a court of law. The man who called himself Saul and then mysteriously renamed himself Paul of Tarsus, never met Jesus yet presents himself as his apostle and message bearer. His agenda is evident: He is intent upon creating a new religion; this proves his disloyalty and untrustworthiness to the man he pretends to represent. Jesus never intended to create a new religion on the evidence (poor as it is) laid before us. In addition, he attacks the Jewish Faith and allows gentiles into the folds of the lay-rabbi Jesus without the latter's authority! This is clearly intended to confuse and mislead the people of the Middle East, Greece and Rome. The court must find in favour of the defense and award judgement with full costs to the non-believers. These costs must include the millions of lives and moneys pilfererd over 2000 years from the unwary and foolish

People who believe these stories must know this: On your heads lie the ruins of civilisations and the blood of millions.!
OBJECTION!
In the light of you giving me free will: OBJECTION OVERRULED!
That's what i'm talking about!! ;)
Two possibilities come to mind.

The first is basically what you mentioned:

A and B are mutually exclusive.
A is true, therefore B is not true.

Here is the the second (which, admittedly, would require the first at some point down the line):

A is contingent on B.
B is not true, therefore A is not true.
Logic dictates you cannot directly prove a negative. If the assertion does not fit the facts then it is regarded as false. The evidence contradicts the validity of the account of creation ergo creation is invalid as an explanation.

My Spock is coming out.
I don't think you have it quite right, because any good scientific theory is falsifiable, and you don't need to solve the problem to be able to throw out a wrong answer.

1. Newton: disprove gravity by (for example) finding apples floating in midair in a way that violates Newton's laws. No need to discover or understand relativity.

2. Storks: disprove this by (for example) finding women getting pregnant & babies being born in a land where there are no storks. You don't need to understand how women get pregnant or where the babies come from.

One problem with the god hypothesis is that it's now typically presented in an unfalsifiable way, making no tangible claims. If a god is defined in such a way as to be testable, then you can test and possibly disprove it.

In fact while scientific theories can be disproved, they can't actually be proved - it is always possible that new evidence could be found that will violate the theory.

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