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Re: Hey peoples

Postby zilch » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:01 am

Shol'va wrote:What, no updates on this? I am dissapoint.

Me too. We have a roaring good discussion going here.
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Re: Hey peoples

Postby Daniel (Da Pilgrim) » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:38 am

Hey peops, finished my last assignment, yay!

A few responses...

GE:
It doesn't mean that particles of one form will transform into other forms "magically", spontaneously and without a cause. It means that some phenomena are not deterministic, not that every phenomena is not deterministic.


If what you say is true that some phenomena are deterministic and some are not, in a universal sense nothing can then be completely deterministic. For example, if I magically created a hammer out of nothing or reformed some fundamental particles into a hammer, the very existence of that "magical" change that pushed its way into a cluster of particles, then causes a chain reaction amongst all particles as this new substance fits into its environment around. Immediately it may not be detectable on a large scale but change has happened, thus making all the rest of reality at a fundamental level indeterministic because this magical happening effects one particle and then another and then another, and another and another... until there is not a particle that is not effected by the sudden emergence of these new "random" or magical particles.

No it isn't. But suppose it were. How would that make it acceptable to rely on fallacies that you can obviously avoid?


Um, yes it is. If atheism really did not contain fallacies then I probably would accept it. That is where another fundamental point we disagree on. Let me explain.
xsa
Shol'va:

No, and you know why? Because you even asking me that clearly indicates you have no idea what the concept of "burden of proof means".
I have absolutely no burden or obligation to explore every single belief system that man has come up with through the ages, both past and present.
The only burden I have is to look at the available evidence objectively.


Athesim, Theism, Deism... all these isms are beliefs. I have argued that everything is a belief at a fundamental level. Even the faith that our reasoning is true. I do not believe that we come to anything objectively but look through subjective glasses, thus tainting anything we view. Evidence is only strong points by which we feel comfortable with making paradigms by which we live our lives. The reason I do not accept atheism is because it is merely another paradigm containing assumptions. Don't get me wrong, I do understand this tempting mindset - to only accept empirical evidence of anything and to feel "safe" in a mindset of neutrality.

This neutrality mindset I believe is a misguided desire to declare a sense of surety in our lives that simply is not there. For me to declare "I believe there is a God", to me is no different to declaring "I believe there is no God" or in other words "only material exists"... or whatever. They are statements about what we cannot be sure of, like our perceptions of reality (we all might be schizophrenic, or dreaming). Even if I decide not to make a statement about the existence of God (positive or negative), I still cannot claim neutral ground, because it doesn't exist. If I am unsure of the existence of God I immediately fall into assuming He does not exist, by living my life accordingly. That is the nature of God. He doesn't allow neutrality. You either believe in Him or you don't; I either believe in solely an unintelligible material universe or I do not. Even I with other paradigms have to be consistent, I don't remain in a position of "I dunno about the existence of Greek god's", I actively do not believe in them by ignoring their potential existence by the way I live.

So this comes down to induction or (abduction) as I mentioned. We induce what we believe to be true and we construct a paradigm by which we live our lives. These paradigms are not neutral but subjective. We want them to be objective but really they are subjective, hoping that we have a grasp on objective reality. Because the existence of or the non existence of God is in the realm of induction/abduction, we look at the evidence (convincing strong points about reality) as to whether it points strongly or weakly to the many paradigms before us. Thus we choose a paradigm on what is reasonable, or what resounds with us. See, looking at it this way means that our desires do play a huge part in what paradigm we choose. None of us wake up tomorrow with a "clean" slate for a mind but are products of our environments and the thus the desires instilled in us. To believe that we make choices not based on desires is simply wishful thinking and misleading.

Cheers.
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R]Hey peops, finished my last assignment, yay! A e: Hey peo

Postby Shol'va » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:10 pm

Daniel (Da Pilgrim) wrote:If atheism really did not contain fallacies then I probably would accept it.

Name a few of the logical fallacies that are inherent with atheism, as you suggest.

Athesim, Theism, Deism... all these isms are beliefs.

Let's say I grant you that. We have then agreed that they are all beliefs, but not that they are on equal footing when it comes to belief or accepting evidence that exists. Atheism lies in the evidence, or lack thereof for any transcendental gods. Religion infers gods and demands belief and faith.

I do not believe that we come to anything objectively but look through subjective glasses, thus tainting anything we view.

I will say this again :) It doesn't matter what you believe. What matters is whether or not you can demonstrate that your belief is valid. I can demonstrate that many things are NOT tainted by subjectivity.

The reason I do not accept atheism is because it is merely another paradigm containing assumptions.

Like I asked above, name a few of the inherent assumptions of atheism.

I do understand this tempting mindset - to only accept empirical evidence

You've been told by several of us here that we are not of the mindset of only accepting empirical evidence, so why are you using this argument?

For me to declare "I believe there is a God", to me is no different to declaring "I believe there is no God" or in other words "only material exists"... or whatever.

They are different, and here's how. One says "I believe there is a god" and fails to provide evidence, and therefore the other person says "I remain unconvinced" BECAUSE there is no evidence provided to them. And your attempt is to not only put the two people on equal footing, but to fault the one that rejects the proposition of a deity! You're really not seeing the problem with this mindset?

They are statements about what we cannot be sure of, like our perceptions of reality (we all might be schizophrenic, or dreaming).

Again, please don't engage into Sye Ten presuppositionalist bullshit. You and I both know that it gets us nowhere and it is only used as an attempt to retreat into them when the argument is lost. I can tell you I am sure my reasoning is valid because it has gotten me this far!

If I am unsure of the existence of God I immediately fall into assuming He does not exist, by living my life accordingly.

This does not make any sense. By living your life the best way you can, that does not mean you explicitly reject a proposed deity. That simply says that you have chosen a way to live your life that does not hinge on a deity you not only don't know exists, but don't know what it asks of you.
That is like you telling me I am rejecting chocolate flavored ice cream when I don't even know it exists. I am neutral towards it because if I know it exists, I don't know what it tastes like. So I neither like nor dislike it.

You either believe in Him or you don't

Speak for yourself :) There are plenty of people who hold another view

So this comes down to induction or (abduction) as I mentioned. We induce what we believe to be true and we construct a paradigm by which we live our lives.

That is correct. And atheists reject the inductions/abductions or others in matters of what they believe to be true because they lack evidence to back it up

We want them to be objective but really they are subjective, hoping that we have a grasp on objective reality. Because the existence of or the non existence of God is in the realm of induction/abduction, we look at the evidence (convincing strong points about reality) as to whether it points strongly or weakly to the many paradigms before us. Thus we choose a paradigm on what is reasonable, or what resounds with us. See, looking at it this way means that our desires do play a huge part in what paradigm we choose. None of us wake up tomorrow with a "clean" slate for a mind but are products of our environments and the thus the desires instilled in us. To believe that we make choices not based on desires is simply wishful thinking and misleading.

You think I desire a world view where there is no life after death? You think I desire for a universe that simply exists.
Let me put some world views in balance. On one hand I have the reality of things, while on the other I have a multitude of beliefs from which I can pick, but they all invariably more or less point to a god that loves me, that created this universe for our existence, and that I can live forever.
Wow, tough choice there!
You said it great though, when it comes to believing in god, you are 1000% on the money: To believe that we make choices not based on desires is simply wishful thinking and misleading.
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Re: Hey peoples

Postby Shol'va » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:22 pm

You know, I am reminded of a quote by Abraham Lincoln
"If you look for the bad in mankind, expecting to find it, you surely will"

I am reminded of this quote because, likewise, if you go looking for your personal god, whatever version of it you want, and you expect to find that god, you surely will. This is the common trait of people that report "I'm going on a spiritual trip" or "I'm going to go look for God".
They have already reached their conclusion, they WANT to find god because they have an emotional need for it, the same need that is compelling them to embark on that quest to begin with; they just don't know it yet, and because of it, will engage in selection bias aplenty to reach their preconceived notions.

Now, depending on how you have this forum display set-up, this might not apply to you, but it's page twenty seven for me and still no evidence for god. And most if not all of your efforts have been concentrating on taking down the opposing view's camp. That should signal some alarm bells for you.
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Re: Hey peoples

Postby Photosynthesis » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:31 pm

Daniel (Da Pilgrim) wrote:If what you say is true that some phenomena are deterministic and some are not, in a universal sense nothing can then be completely deterministic.


So? Isn't this exactly what I'm saying? That maybe the universe/reality it's not completely deterministic?
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Re: Hey peoples

Postby zilch » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:19 am

The only thing I know with absolute certainty, or at least as far as I can trust logic goes, are truths of circumscribed systems of formal logic, such as Euclidean mathematics. If two plus two does not always equal four, then we might all as well give up and go fishing (as I believe Wittgenstein said). Luckily, one can go fishing without possessing absolute certainty.

Absolute certainty only obtains within circumscribed systems because their truths are only absolutely true within the system- they don't necessarily always pertain to the real world. Two mice plus two mice doesn't always equal four mice, given time and opportunity. But of course many truths of math function perfectly, or at least as well as perfectly, in reality. The two plus two Euros I have in my pocket will not equal anything other than four Euros, without obvious interference. Ironically, as has been pointed out several times by various smarties, the fact that Christians believe that God can do miracles, and that these miracles are not predictable for us mortals, means that atheists, even if they admit not having absolute certainty, have a worldview that has more basis for accurate predictions than the Christians do.

And that, it seems to me, is one of the core issues in discussions between theists and atheists: most theists, if not all, seem to take it for granted that if there is no absolute knowledge about the real world, then there can be nothing real about it. No meaning, no intelligence, no life, no happiness.... I can understand the pursuit of absolute certainty, and sympathize with it, but I don't understand the insistence that life is meaningless without having it.

I don't see any evidence that absolute certainty exists for us mortals in the real world. But I still manage to be happy. At least a lot of the time. That's good enough for me.
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Re: Hey peoples

Postby Photosynthesis » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:58 pm

Though Shol'va already answered I still will comment on this "point":

This neutrality mindset I believe is a misguided desire to declare a sense of surety in our lives that simply is not there. For me to declare "I believe there is a God", to me is no different to declaring "I believe there is no God" or in other words "only material exists"... or whatever. They are statements about what we cannot be sure of, like our perceptions of reality (we all might be schizophrenic, or dreaming). Even if I decide not to make a statement about the existence of God (positive or negative), I still cannot claim neutral ground, because it doesn't exist. If I am unsure of the existence of God I immediately fall into assuming He does not exist, by living my life accordingly. That is the nature of God. He doesn't allow neutrality. You either believe in Him or you don't; I either believe in solely an unintelligible material universe or I do not. Even I with other paradigms have to be consistent, I don't remain in a position of "I dunno about the existence of Greek god's", I actively do not believe in them by ignoring their potential existence by the way I live.


This "no neutrality" mindset is one of the most nefarious and dangerous ideas in presuppositionalism. The idea that there's no neutrality is the very excuse used to forego reason and substitute it for imagination. The idea that is designed exclusively to keep the Christian from trying to be objective and instead rely on their imagination first, then paint everything with that brush. The idea specifically designed to keep Christians aligned and trapped forever unable to escape the cult. Of course neutrality is possible. I might not believe that there's a Mount called Fujiyama, but given the evidence I can be convinced. That I was able to doubt it does not mean that I have already rejected it. It just means that I can wait for the evidence. If the evidence is available, then I accept it and there you go, there's a Fujiyama. The same applies to gods. If they were real, there should be no problem if we started with a skeptical approach. But, since they are mere fantasies, presuppositionalists make this little trap for themselves thus making themselves unreachable by reason. The trap is so well set that even with clear reductio ad absurdum, they won't get it. See Daniel avoid this example. Will you notice it Daniel? Will you be able to reason, or will you insist on there not being any neutrality? I bet you'll insist in non-neutrality despite my example clearly shows that your position is ridiculously irrational.
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Re: Hey peoples

Postby Daniel (Da Pilgrim) » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:05 am

Hey again peops. We really are covering a lot of ground. I think GE you are really onto something where we fundamentally disagree.

Shol'va I get the sense you just read right past the point of my comment. To answer your first question about fallacies atheism uses, here are two relevant examples 1. is begging the question, where atheism often claims "Atheism isn't belief. Atheism is the lack of belief". They are really playing with words trying to establish a position using their starting point. A cop-out, sorry. Also the argumentum ad ignorantiam or the "argument from ignorance" where it is assumed that because a proposition has not been shown to be false it therefore must be true i.e. "A godless universe has not been shown to be false therefore it must be true".

They are different, and here's how. One says "I believe there is a god" and fails to provide evidence, and therefore the other person says "I remain unconvinced" BECAUSE there is no evidence provided to them. And your attempt is to not only put the two people on equal footing, but to fault the one that rejects the proposition of a deity! You're really not seeing the problem with this mindset?


I think we disagree on what constitutes "evidence". I think you probably should (for the sake of intellectual honesty) replace "no evidence" with "weak evidence". This would show better how you see that there is evidence for God, but you consider the evidence to be weak. If you deny that there is any evidence for God then I think we might as well drop the convo, or in fact it is actually about 200 comments over where it should have been dropped because we are talking passed each other. Remember induction is about a continuum of whether evidence is strong or weak, and not about whether there is evidence or not.
Also, I intend to put two people on equal footing and I am not trying to put fault on the one that rejects a deity. I am merely stating that I disagree with their conclusion.

They have already reached their conclusion, they WANT to find god because they have an emotional need for it, the same need that is compelling them to embark on that quest to begin with; they just don't know it yet, and because of it, will engage in selection bias aplenty to reach their preconceived notions.


Interesting and valid observation. However, I have mentioned it briefly before, but isn't it strange that people find themselves searching for and desiring God? I mean finding ourselves in a very material universe, we desire an immaterial substance for contentment/purpose? Why would a fish desire to be on land?

GE:

So? Isn't this exactly what I'm saying? That maybe the universe/reality it's not completely deterministic?


I am not the one claiming indeterminism lol, you seem to be. I was talking about a mythical set of particles, which then form themselves magically into a hammer, which then forces its way into the surround particles. Hence I don't believe in magical particles changing at whim like the hammer. If indeterminism is real then magical effects can happen without causes and thus make all reality indeterminate. I believe everything is interlocked and determined, influencing each other in innumerable ways. Thus my reasoning is determined by the stimuli around me and my "being's" responses to them. If my being or the stimuli were not deterministic then I would be a magical random being and would not consist of a reliable, consistent nature.
Of course you could "determine" large scale events if there is a small amount of indeterminism in the mix, but technically at the fundamental level the large event could not be determined down to its smallest parts.

You really hit the nail on the head GE! IMAGINATION is a fundamental development that people use to live life and decide by which paradigm they see to fit with reality. See, I think that induction or abduction is intimately connected with imagination. I hold to my point as I briefly covered with Shol'va, that none of us are neutral when it comes to paradigms. Take atheism for example, it imagines (though there are many variations) a world without God, it imagines a history where all the evidences for God are simply fabricated (or similar), it imagines that the testimonies of millions of people around the world are false, because they imagine a paradigm that limits them to thinking that their paradigm is not imagined.

Your example never shows that my position is irrational. I never said that neutrality never exists in our relation to aspects of nature, if I did somewhere then I apologise. I gave all my examples in relation to deities, not random mountains which have no demand whatsoever on how I should live my life. God is different to your example and as well as Shol'va's reference to "many possibilities". I know there are many possibilities to the origins of the universe. The problem of "neutral belief" does not arise from entities of themselves, but it arises where those entities require a response. I don't know about you but I haven't met anyone who claims to have no belief and yet worships God in church. That would be idiocy. We live out our beliefs whether we deny it or not.
Even at times when an entity does not demand my attention I still live my life accordingly around it, whether I know for sure it exists or not. For example, as of 2007 I had never been to Israel. I chose to act on my belief that Israel existed by travelling there. Israel never really demanded my belief, but I lived my life according to how I believe. So my point is, we never live our lives in a permanent state of non-action simply because we cannot be sure of something. We actively make choices (beliefs) everyday about phenomena's relation to us.

Zilch: thumbs up to you. I agree that meaning does not have to come from God. However for many people that do believe, we do find increased meaning in our lives. I believe that people should live by their convictions, whether they believe in God or not. But it does not mean we go off into la la land and ignore the pursuit for greater knowledge, that would be intellectual suicide. Part of the value of us reaching more and more clarity is in what we learn on the way there! We need to be open minded, acknowledging that we aren't on neutral ground, but in reality always shifting our opinions (if need is observed, and in both small or large scale ways) as we align with and learn about "reality".
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Re: Hey peoples

Postby zilch » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:27 pm

Hey Pilgrim! I hope no one minds if I squeeze in a word or two edgewise here. Daniel, you say (to Shol'va):

Daniel (Da Pilgrim) wrote:To answer your first question about fallacies atheism uses, here are two relevant examples 1. is begging the question, where atheism often claims "Atheism isn't belief. Atheism is the lack of belief". They are really playing with words trying to establish a position using their starting point. A cop-out, sorry.

Daniel, before you say this is a "cop-out", let's define our terms, as my father always said. It seems to me that there is an unspoken difference between how you and I (and Shol'va) define "belief". You (please correct me if I'm wrong) would say that not believing in the existence of something is a kind of belief in itself, and the two should be treated as equal in any argument or definition: thus your stance that atheism is the same kind of belief system as theism. I (and I suspect most of us smarties) would say that not believing in the existence of something is a different kind of stance than believing in the existence of something, so much so that not believing might perhaps reasonably not be considered to be any kind of believing at all. One could say that not believing in the existence of something should be the default position, and that believing in the existence of something should require positive evidence.

But for me, it doesn't matter that much what words we use, as long as we define our terms. I don't really care if you consider "not believing" to be a kind of "believing", as long as I know how you are using the word. In any case, I would say (and many of us have also said so here) that not believing in the existence of something is very different than believing in the existence of something, because of the assymetry: whereas a few good pieces of evidence for the existence of something go a long way towards demonstrating that it most probably exists, the opposite is not necessarily true: lack of evidence does not necessarily demonstrate nonexistence. That's because we mortals cannot perform an exhaustive search of the Universe for unicorns or gods or aliens or anything else. Thus, the burden of proof is most reasonably put on those who claim the existence of something, because the demonstration of nonexistence is intractable.

All this to say: whatever you call it, not believing in the existence of something is a very different beast than believing in the existence of something. Thus, atheism is a very different kind of "belief" (if you choose to call it a belief at all), than theism, just as not believing in leprechauns or extraterrestrial intelligence or alien moon bases is different than believing in them. And thus also, the common theistic claim that atheism is a "religion", on the ground that not believing in gods is just as religious as believing in gods, falls flat. Or is not playing golf a "sport"? Is "off" a television channel?

Also the argumentum ad ignorantiam or the "argument from ignorance" where it is assumed that because a proposition has not been shown to be false it therefore must be true i.e. "A godless universe has not been shown to be false therefore it must be true".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but while there may be atheists who hold that position, I don't know of any. Substitute "is most likely to be true" for "must be true" and you've got my position. I would say that a godless Universe seems to be far and away the most likely explanation of the facts, and is thus the belief I hold- subject to revision, of course. Absolute certainty is what you theists hanker after. I'm willing to settle for betting my life, and the life of my children, on the sky not falling, even if I can't "prove" that it won't. I don't see that you have any real advantage with your absolute conviction over my openminded observation of what seems to be the case.

I think we disagree on what constitutes "evidence". I think you probably should (for the sake of intellectual honesty) replace "no evidence" with "weak evidence". This would show better how you see that there is evidence for God, but you consider the evidence to be weak.


I guess you would also have to admit that, say, those who claim that Hillary Clinton is a Reptilian alien also have "weak evidence". That's okay: just define those terms. And btw- can you show me any of this "weak evidence" for the existence of God, that cannot be explained by wishful thinking and fears of authority (see below)?

Shol'va wrote:They have already reached their conclusion, they WANT to find god because they have an emotional need for it, the same need that is compelling them to embark on that quest to begin with; they just don't know it yet, and because of it, will engage in selection bias aplenty to reach their preconceived notions.


Pilgrim wrote:Interesting and valid observation. However, I have mentioned it briefly before, but isn't it strange that people find themselves searching for and desiring God? I mean finding ourselves in a very material universe, we desire an immaterial substance for contentment/purpose? Why would a fish desire to be on land?

Why would a man desire to live forever? We are the only animals brainy enough to know, for most of our lives, that we will die. Can't you see why pie in the sky is an idea likely to catch on, regardless of its truth value? Carrots and sticks work, even if they're imaginary. Kids have Santa and the Boogey Man, adults have God and the Devil. People also commonly believe that they are more intelligent and attractive than they really are, and commonly believe that luck is just around the corner. That is, people often demonstrably hold false beliefs that are based on hopes and fears, not necessarily on observation and logic. Is this really that mysterious?

Pilgrim wrote:Zilch: thumbs up to you. I agree that meaning does not have to come from God. However for many people that do believe, we do find increased meaning in our lives. I believe that people should live by their convictions, whether they believe in God or not. But it does not mean we go off into la la land and ignore the pursuit for greater knowledge, that would be intellectual suicide. Part of the value of us reaching more and more clarity is in what we learn on the way there! We need to be open minded, acknowledging that we aren't on neutral ground, but in reality always shifting our opinions (if need is observed, and in both small or large scale ways) as we align with and learn about "reality".

Thank you, and I agree with everything here. Just one caveat: the "pursuit for greater knowledge" is unfortunately subject to time constraints, like everything else. There are myriads of truth claims clamoring for attention all the time. It's one thing to keep an open mind- it's another to, say, brush up on all the latest Moon Landing hoax videos, or to read the Bible through for the sixth time, or the Koran for the first time, or Gilgamesh for the second. I don't know about you, but I have to pay the rent too, and after hearing the same arguments over and over and over and over and over, there comes a time when you have to take a break and live.

cheers from vernal Vienna, zilch
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Re: Hey peoples

Postby Shol'va » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:44 pm

Hi Daniel!

Daniel (Da Pilgrim) wrote:1. is begging the question, where atheism often claims "Atheism isn't belief. Atheism is the lack of belief". They are really playing with words trying to establish a position using their starting point.

The definition of beggin the question is something where the conclusion that one is attempting to prove is included in the initial premises of an argument, often in an indirect way that conceals this fact. So, can you illustrate how atheism inherently does this? The definition of atheism is simply the disbelief or lack of belief in a god or gods. Furthermore, there are several forms of atheism, so which one specifically are you stating is fallacious on its premise? ALL of them?

Also the argumentum ad ignorantiam or the "argument from ignorance" where it is assumed that because a proposition has not been shown to be false it therefore must be true i.e. "A godless universe has not been shown to be false therefore it must be true".

You think this is fallacious becauses:
a) you ignore we live in a material universe, therefore materialism is the default starting point
b) you are forgetting who has the burden of proof
Let me simplify the idea for you: I look around and all I see is a material universe. You say there is something that transcends this. I don't believe you. Show me the evidence.
You also just played a nice little word tactic with yourself without realizing it. You said "a godless universe has not been shown to be false therefore it must be true" in order to attempt to shift the burden of proof. That is a complete misrepresentation of both what atheism is about as well as where the burden of proof lies.
The correct statement is "a universe created by god is not supported by evidence and therefore is not accepted as factual"
Or 'in the absence of evidence, the positive cannot be accepted"
The default in logic, Daniel, is a negative, not a positive.
The atheist has absolutely no burden of proof to prove a positive. The atheist doesn't have to prove that there is no god.
You need to remind yourself what the starting point and the reference point is. It is our existence as physical beings in a physical universe.
We are born, we live, and we die. These are empirical, verifiable, objective facts. Anything above and beyond these facts must be supported by evidence.

I think you probably should (for the sake of intellectual honesty) replace "no evidence" with "weak evidence". This would show better how you see that there is evidence for God, but you consider the evidence to be weak.

You have failed to provide any evidence for god. And this isn't a matter of me rejecting evidence. This is an issue that what you have provided is objectively not evidence. In fact, I have not seen any.

but isn't it strange that people find themselves searching for and desiring God? I mean finding ourselves in a very material universe, we desire an immaterial substance for contentment/purpose?

No, it is not strange. There is an explanation for our hard-wiring. This was already briefly touched upon in this conversation and since you bring it up again, it is evidend you did not look for the explanation as to why we are hardwired to believe in superstition.
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