What is this evidence of God atheists talks about?

Not quite, I fear you have gone too far in the opposite direction with that statement.

We don’t know that supernatural deities are even possible, so we cannot say they could be real. However the fact that humans have a well evidenced propensity to created imaginary deities, even deliberately and fraudulently, does not in itself rationally infer all deities are of this ilk.

When dealing with god concepts that are this broad, the concepts tend to be unfalsifiable, thus we must treat them with agnosticism, as we must all unfalsifiable claims. I don’t believe any assertions, claims or conclusion can be drawn from an unfalsifiable concept. However I cannot do other than disbelieve such concepts, as to do otherwise would mean either believing all unfalsifiable concepts, a truly absurd position, or the irrationally biased position of believing some or one, but not others, despite there being no objective difference. So I remain an atheist, and an agnostic where the claim or belief is unfalsifiable and requires that.

Not all god claims are unfalsifiable of course, and I need not be agnostic about those claims that are demonstrably at odds with objective facts.

I said I think because I can’t prove that claim and I don’t want to try, yet. I don’t think I’m going too far suggesting Middle Eastern gods descend ideologically from Mesopotamian gods. It may be that even Mesopotamian gods go back to the Indo-Europeans, a group I don’t know much about, so I’ll leave it at that. In my understanding we have no Indo-European texts so I don’t know how I would investigate that. I’ve read parts of the Vedas, which are old but still not Indo-European, if I recall.

To David_Killens: I can’t rule that out and I’ll admit that. I’m saying though that if the very notion of a god began fraudulently, it suggests questions about those concepts are… fanciful, I guess. It would be like asking, “How did the Nigerian prince in the email scam get to be prince?”, or, “How does Santa decorate his home in the North Pole?” The question is inherently flawed, I’m saying. You’re welcome to disagree.

To Sheldon: I disagree. I’m willing to concede that gods are possible because I don’t know exactly what is possible and isn’t in the universe. That’s all. Possible is different from real of course, you know I don’t think gods are real. Possible is also different from likely. I agree with you that most god concepts are unfalsifiable, most. Some gods are or were statues, and those gods are or were falsifiable.

If you don’t know they’re possible, how can you concede that they are?

Not sure I said most, but in this context we can focus on the unfalsifiable concept. If something’s unfalsifiable, then how can you concede it is possible, or could exist, or anything about it really?

Sorry I’m not seeing the connection between a statue of a deity, and it being falsifiable?

I don’t want to keep hammering on the book, but the gods of early Mesopotamia and Egypt were supposedly living statues. There are stories about these beautiful statues coming to life and eating and drinking in temples during feasting rituals. That idea is falsifiable to the persons feasting them. The statues either ate or they didn’t. They either walked around or they didn’t.

Let me reflect on what you’re saying about knowing what’s possible or isn’t and respond. I haven’t given this enough thought to respond meaningfully to your argument, which is valid.

Maybe, maybe not. But remember that the first recordings of the population in ancient Sumer was a people speaking what we now percieve to have been a language isolate, and the Mesopotamian gods originated here (or at least as far back as we have written recordings, like the Gilgamesh epos). Only later did semitic languages take over, but the writing system and the mythologies were “adopted”. Around the same time as the first writings appeared in Mesopotamia, we have the origins of the Indo-european languages and mythologies in what is believed to be regions north of the Black Sea. These cultures might have influenced each other, but time and geographical scales confound our knowledge. Of course, the relative geographical vicinity of Greece to the Middle east and subsequent military campaigns, empire building and trade made sure ideas were diffused all over. This especially happened after the military campaigns of Alexander the Great and later with the Roman Empire, and the diffusion velocity of gods and ideas were far greater in a polytheistic cultural sphere where gods were assimilated and merged much easier than with the abrahamic monotheistic religions. But then we are talking about cultural idea exchanges that are far too recent for what concerns the topic of your book. Also remember that in those ancient times you are talking about (~5-6k years ago), the greeks were not only doing cultural exchange eastwards towards the Middle East, but also to the north and west, approaching other Indo-european tribes, doing cultural exchanges with them.

Falsifiability has to be objectively demonstrated, not merely speculated post ad hoc. I can disbelieve the claim, as it’s unsupported by any objective evidence, and since it’s an extraordinary claim, what is regarded as sufficient will have to account for that fact. However the claim is unfalsifiable, as we cannot go back in time to falsify it.

Possible and impossible are logical negations of each other, one cannot know one without knowing the other. Not being able to concede a deity is possible, does not infer I’m willing to concede, believe or assert a deity is impossible. Since not knowing it is possible, rationally infers I don’t know it’s impossible.

We’ve seen quite a few theists make this basic error all the time, when then imply that not knowing a deity is impossible, implies it may be possible. This argument is a version of an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.

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Not if there were ‘shrooms in the food…

Recent times have had people, en masse, swearing to the miracle at Fatima (sun dancing in the sky)…

These are stories. And the “evidence” is, as been pointed out, meager. Your take on it is subjective - pointing to “motive” as to “what they knew”. Impossible to establish.

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We can speculate, but objectively falsifying the claim is not as simple as it first appears. Falsifiability in science is an essential requirement before any idea can be considered to form part of scientific research.

Unfalsifiable ideas are not labelled “not even wrong” out of whimsy or caprice. Objectively demonstrating that something is wrong increases our knowledge, the entire purpose of science.⁹

…and this can be backed by a certain amount of data. A soft science. The rigours of the hard sciences leave little room for conclusions, BUT there is room when more information achieves the same rigours.

Damn…even today, physiological sciences are “soft” BECAUSE there is so much room for other explanations.

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I disagree completely. I only need to establish that people with eyes and ears entered a room and then clarify what they saw. I have descriptions of what they said they saw, which provides me evidence of what these feasting rituals were like.

As for your mushrooms assertion, can you back that up with any textual evidence? I found no mention of hallucinogens in any Mesopotamian or Egypt text, only wine and beer. I’ve done hallucinogens by the way. They can’t make a statue walk across a room. They can do some wild shit, but that they can’t do.

They can make you think it did.

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Do you believe in the alien abduction stories?

You have no evidence for the use of hallucinogens in Mesopotamian and Egyptian religion, and we are now debating a hypothetical. Produce your evidence that Egyptian or Mesopotamian priests or kings used hallucinogens, and then we can discuss if those would be enough to convince them statues were alive.

Not at all. Why do you ask? In context I’m saying I can speak to what people would have saw in temple shrines because they described it in surviving tablets, scrolls, temple walls, etc. I don’t believe them, and that’s the point, but that doesn’t mean they don’t describe what the room looked like, the statue looked like, the food and drink consisted of, etc.

Did I claim I had that evidence? No.

Take that chip off your shoulder.

It ain’t a chip, you raised the subject of hallucinogens. Now you retreat because you have no evidence for them and you know it. Hypothetical hallucinogens does not an objection make.

That’s a lie. :scream_cat:

I’ll take that back, Whitefire13 raised the subject of hallucinogens, and then you said this. You’re running dude.

Anecdotal subjective testimony, again given the nature of claims, is that really where we want to set the bar for belief? Nor is their antiquated testimony objectively falsifiable.

That’s a subjective opinion, other subjective opinions disagree, do you see the problem? Some people are far more suggestible than others.

No. Objectively, a statue cannot walk across a room, even if someone sees this happen as a hallucination. I’ve seen clouds sprout feet and walk backwards across the sky. The cloud did not move, it was still wherever it started before I began hallucinating. That’s what I mean.

What evidence would you suggest we use to analyze early organized religions? We have archaeological evidence and texts. That’s what I use because that’s what there is. We can’t interview the priests, they’re dead, we can’t record the ceremonies, they aren’t being actively performed. No chemical test would reveal if a god possesses a statue.