I'm curious as to what sort of event or discovery would be enough to "prove" the existence of a god to you?

Would it be hearing the god's voice in your head? Would it be an event predicted in some holy book? The god rearranging the stars of a particular galaxy to spell "Yes I'm real" in every known language, as viewed from Earth?

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Sorry, but one cannot prove or disprove anything.

Of course we can, Doug. To say we can't prove anything denies simple arithmetic.

2 + 2 = 4

Assuming you are not denying mathematics then this also disproves your statement above. So right here we have an example of something that has been proved (2 + 2 = 4) and disproved (your statement above).

Truth is generally accepted from majority consensus, except in religion.

I think you've got it backward, Doug. Science is the best means we have for knowing what is true from what is not true.

Present the religious majority with the mountains of empirical scientific evidence for evolution (or anything else that refutes their holy books) and you're ignored, bullshitted, threatened, assaulted, locked up, or executed. So a small minority of educated and enlightened individuals scattered around the world understand what is really true.

Ask the religious majority for empirical scientific evidence of God, creationism, miracles, magic, or holy-whatever and you're ignored, bullshitted, threatened, assaulted, locked up, or executed. So people living under the spell of falsehood and superstition rule most of the earth.

Truth is more often rejected by majority consensus precisely because the religious are the majority.

HaHa. See, that's the problem. 2 + 2 = 4 because you believed your teacher when she forced you to memorize it. And mathematicians of the highest caliber can use thousands of memorized statements to prove without a doubt that 2 + 2 = 4. But the bottom line is that somewhere there were commonly accepted assumptions made to form the foundation of that proof.

Are you serious? You think something as simple as counting two finger on your left hand and two finger on your right hand is based on an assumption?

By the way, that proof is based on assumptions,

2 + 2 = 4

Assumption is supposition based on the unproven. In 2 + 2 = 4 we have 2, 4 and the concepts of addition and equality.

Are you also claiming we have no proof of these as well?  No proof of 2? No proof of 4? Indeed, nothing equals anything, since equality itself is unproven? 2 ≠ 2.  4 ≠ 4. And we cannot add values, since addition is unproven.   

and what if even one of the assumptions were wrong?

I'm satisfied with the proof behind mathematics, which consists of virtually every accomplishment of science and engineering in history, from the Apollo moon landings to the computers we're all using to access TA.

Then the proof may not be a proof at all. So maybe 500 years from now some crazy mathematician will prove that 2+2≠4. Then what?

Hopefully by that time you'll have character enough to admit when you're wrong. Then you'll just say gosh, two plus two really does equal four and put a sock in it rather than type out all that ridiculous contrarian blather.

You see, 2+2=4, along with god, was burned into my head nearly 70 years ago. Also Newton's f=ma was burned into my head around 50 years ago, but Einstein then proved it wrong. Einstein, you dick, everybody knows that f=ma. Quit rocking the boat.

Hopefully you haven't found the brain-burning dogmatic cult of 2+2=4 too oppressive for all these long years, Einstein. 

As I was reading this thread, I got to this point where Doug P. posted:

"...My brain is fried...". while trying to comprehend that 2+2=4.

I believed him.

No. No. No. The religious majority make up their own truths

"Making up your own truth" has a shorter name: lying. Or delusion at best.

In a religious environment, truth is what you say it is; in a scientific environment, truth is what you accept it is.

The truth is what is true. That's all. What is true does not change with the cultural environment you put it in.

Gravity is gravity. Evolution is evolution. The big bang is the big bang. All of these things are true. They would still be true even if the human race never existed to accept them as true.

But how do you know that the big bang is true?

Evidence. The observed motions of all the galaxies in the universe, played in reverse, establishes that everything in the universe emerged from a single point 13.798 billion years ago.

You don't know if the big bang is true or not. You only know what others have claimed to be true.

Absolute precision exists only in mathematics. The evidence that the big bang is true is overwhelming. To falsify the big bang requires either disproving that evidence or showing that another explanation fits it better.

As with the big bang, likewise for gravity and evolution: by all means, knock them down if you can. If they are false they deserve to be knocked down.  But given the staggering amount of evidence holding them up the probability of that ever happening is extraordinarily remote. That is what I call true.

But it's also completely beside the point. You said there is no way to prove or disprove anything. There are.

Note also that with the big bang, gravity, and evolution, even if they are all not true, and they turn out to have other explanations, then the other explanations were true all along instead. That we discovered the old explanations were false did not suddenly MAKE the new ones true at that moment by sheer consensus.

So you pointing this out doesn't change a thing. The truth is what is true. Knowing or not knowing it, accepting or rejecting it, has no impact on what is really true. When it comes to the natural world around us, thought discovers reality, it does not create it.


Pi  is not an exact value.  It is an irrational number which continues without end.

I guess you have to be a mathematician to understand how that can be proven. I'm not. But sometimes I'll hear someone say that pi is a string of numbers "which never repeats itself." I don't understand what they mean by that. For example, if they are saying that the two-digit combination "15" is never found more than once, that's nonsense. 

Oh, okay. That makes more sense. So I guess you never get ...55 either. If so, that is bizarre, but I know pi is rather bizarre anyway, and turns up in the most unexpected places (like having nothing at all to do with circles).

That is easy, all he has to do is appear before everyone, in all his glory, and performing a few miracles on the way.  Something like: reversing global warming, ending world hunger and poverty, making all murderers, paedophiles, rapists and drugs disappear.

Even then, that could just be some extremely advanced alien species that bothered to skim through our brief history and decided to play up on the beliefs of the powerful majority.


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