A reasonable blog on atheism, religion, science and skepticism
Follow Patheos Atheist:
This statement certainly has the absence of something…
I have a feeling that may be a mistranslation or typo. “The absence of nothing proves its existence” would at least make sense, as illogical as it remains. One could argue (poorly) that the lack of nothing (i.e. that there is something, in this case a universe) proves the existence of ‘it’ (god or some kind of spiritual, creative force, something ethereal, but above all something).
I think it is saying that for some entity to be absent it must exist, as in ” little Johnny is absent from school” It implies a limited definition of absent that does not include nonexistance.
How is that implied?
As DR says below, it implies the existence of the concept and is a category error.
If you can state what is not there, then at least the concept of that thing exists. If you say, for example, there’s no ball in this room, this proves that there’s at least the concept of a ball, otherwise you couldn’t make the statement in the first place.
This is another example of a category error where the concept is mistaken for the thing itself; it’s a common mistake amongst theologians and is at the root of the Ontological “Argument”. It seems to me every theologian looks at Magritte’s “Treachery of Images” (“Ceci n’est pas une pipe”) and just don’t get it…
I want him to send me $100. The absence of the money in his pocket should prove it is still his money and he can have it back when I’m done with it.
So by this person’s reasoning, does the absence of unicorns prove that unicorns exist? Ugh, trying to understand how someone can think that statement makes any sense is hurting my brain.
Unicorns do exist—the Bible says so!
By that logic every god ever conceived exists negating the whole concept of monotheism. Also by that logic every monster, evil wizard, evil invading aliens, demon and evil cosmic being also exists.
Words aren’t the things they represent. My house if full of ants. Not just a pest problem, but full up to the ceiling of ants. Like, 5 or 6 really huge ones.
Follow Patheos on