God as a Preference

gpaine9
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009-04-13
User is offlineOffline
God as a Preference

While there are certainly evidences for evolution, there is no conclusive proof such as God signing a legal document saying He does not, in fact, exist or scientists videotaping biogenesis occurring. Can one believe in God simply because he recognizes the ambiguity surrounding th equestion of origins and prefers to view life as created?


daretoknow
Superfan
daretoknow's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: 2007-12-09
User is offlineOffline
gpaine9 wrote:While there

gpaine9 wrote:

While there are certainly evidences for evolution, there is no conclusive proof such as God signing a legal document saying He does not, in fact, exist or scientists videotaping biogenesis occurring. Can one believe in God simply because he recognizes the ambiguity surrounding th equestion of origins and prefers to view life as created?

 

I'm pretty sure you meant "abiogenesis" not "biogenensis". And as far as believing whatever makes you feel good regardless the evidence, sure, if you care more about how you feel about you than what is actually true. I don't understand why you have any emotional attachment to ideas about how life began anyways. You may look in wonder at the process or the world around us, but why would you be emotionally attached to any argument? Either it is true or it isn't. Right?

The problem with your argument is that you are comparing the amount of evidence for evolution, which is overwhelming, and evidence for creationism, which is nonexistent. One is a scientific theory that is part of the foundation for modern biology and the other is religious woowoo that has no basis in reality.

Thats cute.


BLARGGGG (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
While there

Can you explain where cells come from? Is amino acid the only thing required to produce life? Can amino acid become brains? How was a cell made from so called nothingness, how come we survived for so long ??? How come monkey's did not evolve? were the monkeys retarded?


KSMB
Scientist
KSMB's picture
Posts: 702
Joined: 2006-08-03
User is offlineOffline
I call Poe.

I call Poe.


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3711
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
BLARGGGG wrote:Can you

BLARGGGG wrote:

Can you explain where cells come from?

Which cell? What cell? What does that mean?

Quote:
Is amino acid the only thing required to produce life?

No.

Quote:
Can amino acid become brains?

Huh? What does "become" mean? What are you trying to say?

Quote:
How was a cell made from so called nothingness,

It wasn't. What do you mean?

Quote:
how come we survived for so long ???

What does that mean? Is it impossible for me to live to be 70?

Quote:
How come monkey's did not evolve?

They did. All living things are constantly evolving.

Quote:
were the monkeys retarded?

Define retarded.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
gpaine9 wrote:Can one

gpaine9 wrote:
Can one believe in God simply because he recognizes the ambiguity surrounding th equestion of origins and prefers to view life as created?

Of course one CAN, but the issue is whether or not one would be justified in that belief. But acknowledging ambiguity is not a belief, and prefering to view life as created isn't a belief, either.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
gpaine9 wrote:While there

gpaine9 wrote:

While there are certainly evidences for evolution, there is no conclusive proof such as God signing a legal document saying He does not, in fact, exist or scientists videotaping biogenesis occurring. Can one believe in God simply because he recognizes the ambiguity surrounding th equestion of origins and prefers to view life as created?

 

So, you want to get around bothering to justify your belief, and instead hold to belief based on the human need to have any answer at all, no matter how bad, so that one can assuage their wounded pride.

Instead of just humbly conceding that existence is too complex to figure out?

 

Sure, you can believe based on that, but consider what you're saying here...

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Quote:conclusive proof such

Quote:

conclusive proof such as God signing a legal document saying He does not, in fact, exist

I think everyone in the room facepalmed here.

Quote:

or scientists videotaping biogenesis occurring.

I think everyone in the room face-concreted here (that is, the repeated bashing of one's head against a solid concrete wall, bemoaning the existence of such monumental stupidity).

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
DG, you really don't expect

DG, you really don't expect a theist to recognize internal contradiction when it comes to their theology, do you? If they did, how would they ever get through Genesis, let alone the OT?

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
todangst wrote:but consider

todangst wrote:

but consider what you're saying here...

Ah-hahahaha!

Ha!

Whoo.

It's the apparent luxury of the incurious that they never have to consider what they assert.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

conclusive proof such as God signing a legal document saying He does not, in fact, exist

I think everyone in the room facepalmed here.

I was going to go with it. "Actually, yes, I found the document! It's legal, and it's signed by someone saying they don't exist! Isn't that something!"

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3711
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Hmmm, I was actually so

Hmmm, I was actually so preoccupied with the stupidity in the third post that I missed the OP. But, now that you mention it.

Quote:
there is no conclusive proof such as God signing a legal document saying He does not, in fact, exist

I'm not in here!!!

Quote:
or scientists videotaping biogenesis occurring.

I'm guessing these are superhuman, microscope-videotape wielding, excruciatingly bored scientists that traveled back in time.

Okay, science isn't just real time observation. That's a strawman.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:deludedgod

HisWillness wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

conclusive proof such as God signing a legal document saying He does not, in fact, exist

I think everyone in the room facepalmed here.

I was going to go with it. "Actually, yes, I found the document! It's legal, and it's signed by someone saying they don't exist! Isn't that something!"

Actually, considering how paradoxical 'god' is defined to be, I had no problem with this. In the past, I've argued that since "god" must be defined as Omni-cool, he must be so cool that he doesn't care that he doesn't exist.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
todangst wrote:Actually,

todangst wrote:

Actually, considering how paradoxical 'god' is defined to be, I had no problem with this. In the past, I've argued that since "god" must be defined as Omni-cool, he must be so cool that he doesn't care that he doesn't exist.

Oh, a thousand thanks for that one. That's gold.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Actually, while we're on the

Actually, while we're on the subject, something does irk me about the ostensibly reasonable concession "Well, we can't conclusively know whether or not God exists". I view it as one of uncountable theistic enroachments on epistemology, and part of their general tactic of trying to undermine the whole notion of "knowledge" in order to attempt to defend beliefs which would be indefensible on rational grounds, a problem which was expounded more precisely by me in this thread:

I thought this diagram might amuse you...

Back to the concession which irks me. The problem is that this concession contains implicit assumptions which are absurd. In this "God exists" is treated like any other knowledge claim, such as "we can't know that orbiting teapots don't exist the Earth". The problem with this concession lies in the coherency of the claim. Theism is so confused as to what it even means to say "God exists" that unlike other claims about which we must technically remain agnostic (such as the matter of the teapot), the whole notion of "God existing" can be thrown out on definitional grounds. It's part of a general problem of the religious subversion of language. They use words that they think they can get away with using, that are too vague to really mean anything like "higher power" or "ultimate", or they use words which contain an incoherency in terms of lack of coherent predicates, such as "supernatural". We can throw the notion out on the criteria for a statement that was imposed by Russell in order to solve the problem of non-referring entities in quantifier logic. Namely, a statement in quantifier logic must make an existence claim, a uniqueness claim and a claim of predication. The claim of God has no coherent claim of predication, fails criterion three, and can be thrown out.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod wrote:The problem

deludedgod wrote:
The problem with this concession lies in the

coherency

of the claim. Theism is so confused as to what it even means to say "God exists" that unlike other claims about which we must technically remain agnostic (such as the matter of the teapot), the whole notion of "God existing" can be thrown out on definitional grounds.

This is really only a problem in debate, where the audience is guaranteed to not understand the format, let alone the rules of engagement. I think this is the main reason why William Lane Craig can appear to win so many debates against people who know better, and are much smarter than he is. They're unprepared for the fact that their audience is mostly unfamiliar with how thinking works.

deludedgod wrote:
They use words that they think they can get away with using, that are too vague to really mean anything like "higher power" or "ultimate", or they use words which contain an incoherency in terms of lack of coherent predicates, such as "supernatural".

Again, I don't think it's easy to find people who have considered these concepts to the point of any reasonable conclusion. "Supernatural" is obviously one of my favourites (properly eviscerated by todangst), because it's the epitome of expressing knowledge in ignorance. But so much attention is paid to debates on this issue that people in general can become confused as to what makes a valid point, instead of a popular point. In fact, valid points may fall by the wayside in the majority of cases, because they're so obvious as to be unspectacular!

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod wrote:Actually,

deludedgod wrote:

Actually, while we're on the subject, something does irk me about the ostensibly reasonable concession "Well, we can't conclusively know whether or not God exists". I view it as one of uncountable theistic enroachments on epistemology, and part of their general tactic of trying to undermine the whole notion of "knowledge" in order to attempt to defend beliefs which would be indefensible on rational grounds, a problem which was expounded more precisely by me in this thread:

I thought this diagram might amuse you...

Wow. This is cool. Thanks. 

Quote:

Back to the concession which irks me. The problem is that this concession contains implicit assumptions which are absurd. In this "God exists" is treated like any other knowledge claim, such as "we can't know that orbiting teapots don't exist the Earth". The problem with this concession lies in the coherency of the claim.

Precisely.  The theist wins the debate the second the atheist lets these sort of arguments begin, because the argument implies that "god" is a coherent term.

Quote:
Theism is so confused as to what it even means to say "God exists" that unlike other claims about which we must technically remain agnostic (such as the matter of the teapot), the whole notion of "God existing" can be thrown out on definitional grounds. It's part of a general problem of the religious subversion of language. They use words that they think they can get away with using, that are too vague to really mean anything like "higher power" or "ultimate", or they use words which contain an incoherency in terms of lack of coherent predicates, such as "supernatural". We can throw the notion out on the criteria for a statement that was imposed by Russell in order to solve the problem of non-referring entities in quantifier logic. Namely, a statement in quantifier logic must make an existence claim, a uniqueness claim and a claim of predication. The claim of God has no coherent claim of predication, fails criterion three, and can be thrown out.

Very well said, I've never managed to make the point that succinctly. Thank you.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


gpaine9
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009-04-13
User is offlineOffline
I'm sorry if my earlier

I'm sorry if my earlier sarcasm (God admitting his own non-existence) was misunderstood. I actually posted my original comment because the statement "Believe in God?  We can fix that" intrigued me. I consider myself a fairly open-minded individual and if I were shown that my belief in God is detrimental I would abandon it immediately. I realize that the people on this site are probably used to creationists frantically quoting un-researched facts and Pascal's wager. I'm not here to do that though. I am legitimately interested in being "converted" to an atheistic viewpoint if my current view is unacceptable. However the existence of God is inherently philosophical rather than scientific so comparing the existence of God to the existence of orbiting teapots isn't a fair comparison. And in response to the statement "Theism is so confused as to what it even means to say 'God exists'" I would say that while there is much disagreement about what it means to say "God exists" there is little confusion. Muslims have a very definite concept of who Allah is but differ from Christians who have there own concept of God. I personally am not confused at all about who God is. I admit that I don't know everything there is to know about it but I wouldn't say I'm confused.

I believe in God primarily because I think its good to have a source of hope for the future. Theists allow for belief, without scientific proof, in God and what He promises. Humanism demands observation before something can be accepted (God isn't believed in because He hasn't been observed). Humanism also provides hope for the future. Humanism can be summarized in this way, “men have but one life to lead… human happiness is its own justification and requires no sanction or support from supernatural sources … [which] does not exist; and that human beings… can build an enduring citadel of peace and beauty upon this earth.” (Corliss Lamont, The Philosophy of Humanism, 14). Humanism sounds attractive to me but its promise of hope, human beings achieving utopia, has never been observed and therefore should not be accepted according to its standards of acceptable truth.

So is my faith in God unacceptable philosophically and why?


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1474
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
gpaine9 wrote:   I believe

gpaine9 wrote:

 

I believe in God primarily because I think its good to have a source of hope for the future. Theists allow for belief, without scientific proof, in God and what He promises. Humanism demands observation before something can be accepted (God isn't believed in because He hasn't been observed). Humanism also provides hope for the future. Humanism can be summarized in this way, “men have but one life to lead… human happiness is its own justification and requires no sanction or support from supernatural sources … [which] does not exist; and that human beings… can build an enduring citadel of peace and beauty upon this earth.” (Corliss Lamont, The Philosophy of Humanism, 14). Humanism sounds attractive to me but its promise of hope, human beings achieving utopia, has never been observed and therefore should not be accepted according to its standards of acceptable truth.

So is my faith in God unacceptable philosophically and why?

 

Aahh you believe in belief then? I don't see how you can believe that god exists because its good to have a source of hope for the future, the to just don't match up, your reason doesn't suport your claim. Even if he brings hope that doesn't affect wether he is real or not. Basically you said I believe in belief in god, not I believe in god. If  your position is that you think beliving that god is a good thing I find that resonable, I don't agree but still. It is a far cry from evidance that he actually exists though.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5815
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
gpaine9 wrote: I believe in

gpaine9 wrote:

I believe in God primarily because I think its good to have a source of hope for the future. Theists allow for belief, without scientific proof, in God and what He promises. Humanism demands observation before something can be accepted (God isn't believed in because He hasn't been observed). Humanism also provides hope for the future. Humanism can be summarized in this way, “men have but one life to lead… human happiness is its own justification and requires no sanction or support from supernatural sources … [which] does not exist; and that human beings… can build an enduring citadel of peace and beauty upon this earth.” (Corliss Lamont, The Philosophy of Humanism, 14). Humanism sounds attractive to me but its promise of hope, human beings achieving utopia, has never been observed and therefore should not be accepted according to its standards of acceptable truth.

So is my faith in God unacceptable philosophically and why?

 

Humanism expresses hope that human society can progressively improve towards some ideal state. The ideal state is a target, which may be overly optimistic, but does not represent anything inherently or logically impossible. 

We do observe progressive changes in many aspects of human society, which include many improvements, at least in the judgement of many, so in contemplating the prospect that this improvement in ability to fight diseases, in knowledge, in standards of ethics and morality, such as elimination of slavery, rights for women and minorities, and so on, we are not being irrational. Whatever your opinion on the overall progress we see, the fact is that there has been considerable change over time in human society, with many things changing in a more or less consistent direction. This means that the overall state of human society at the end of each decade or century has never been observed before, so your argument just does not apply to such a process.

The possibility of reaching something we could describe as a state much improved over current conditions cannot be criticized  on the grounds that we have never observed such a state before makes no more sense than saying it is not an 'acceptable truth' that we could build a higher building or faster aircraft than has ever existed before, on the grounds we have never seen it before.

The proposition is that an observed process may continue, and that we should aim to do what we can to assist the process, not remotely analogous to the assertion of the eternal existence of something infinite, that has never been unambiguously directly observed. It would be a slightly better analogy if you were proposing that God will come into existence at some future time, but we see no particular evidence that any lesser version of a God entity exists and is growing into some such ultimate form.

If you envisage God as the Creator of the totality of existence, that truly is logically absurd, because that would require God to create himself, something which certainly has never been observed. If you also assume God is infinite, that is also incoherent since we have certainly never observed anything infinite, indeed we could never observe such an attribute, and it is a questionable that the very idea of an identifiable entity with infinite extent makes any sort of sense. Proposing such an entity is pure speculation and against the evidence.

The alternative idea that God always existed is also total speculation. Whether some form of 'existence' always 'existed', or came into existence at some point, there is no logical or scientific justification for the primal or initial state of existence be any more than the nearest thing to nothing that we currently understand, 'empty' space, containing just a very low level of some form of energy. We don't have an actual detailed theory for what, if anything preceded the 'Big Bang' initial state of our known universe, but proposing that it required the prior existence of some greater entity, let alone an infinite sentient one, is absurd , since you then have the problem of proposing an even greater entity to explain that entity. This is infinitely more improbable than proposing that the initial state be literally the next thing to nothing, as envisaged under current scientific ideas.

Since we know that complex structure ultimately arises from simpler forms, as represented by the formation of atoms, stars and galaxies from the raw energy state of the primordial universe, or even the growth of an adult human being from a single cell, there is also absolutely no logical necessity for God, and the nature of God is contrary to anything we have ever observed, so it is utterly incoherent.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3711
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Ah, welcome to the forum!

Ah, welcome to the forum!

gpaine9 wrote:
I consider myself a fairly open-minded individual and if I were shown that my belief in God is detrimental I would abandon it immediately.

That's good. There are many people in this world who try to hold to their beliefs no matter what. Of course, it's not a matter of whether belief in God is detrimental, but whether it is internally consistent and supported by the evidence.

Quote:
I realize that the people on this site are probably used to creationists frantically quoting un-researched facts and Pascal's wager.

Yep...

Quote:
However the existence of God is inherently philosophical rather than scientific so comparing the existence of God to the existence of orbiting teapots isn't a fair comparison.

What do you mean by "inherently philosophical rather than scientific?" The God hypothesis in general, and organized religions in particular, make very scientifically relevant claims about the natural world.

Quote:
And in response to the statement "Theism is so confused as to what it even means to say 'God exists'" I would say that while there is much disagreement about what it means to say "God exists" there is little confusion. Muslims have a very definite concept of who Allah is but differ from Christians who have there own concept of God. I personally am not confused at all about who God is. I admit that I don't know everything there is to know about it but I wouldn't say I'm confused.

Are you a Christian? A deist?

Quote:
I believe in God primarily because I think its good to have a source of hope for the future.

That is NOT a good reason to believe in anything.

Quote:
Theists allow for belief, without scientific proof, in God and what He promises.

You mean faith?

Quote:
Humanism demands observation before something can be accepted (God isn't believed in because He hasn't been observed).

Yes, but not necessarily direct observation.

Quote:
Humanism also provides hope for the future. Humanism can be summarized in this way, “men have but one life to lead… human happiness is its own justification and requires no sanction or support from supernatural sources … [which] does not exist; and that human beings… can build an enduring citadel of peace and beauty upon this earth.” (Corliss Lamont, The Philosophy of Humanism, 14).

Yep.

Quote:
Humanism sounds attractive to me but its promise of hope, human beings achieving utopia, has never been observed and therefore should not be accepted according to its standards of acceptable truth.

If that's the case, then why is theism attractive to you? Have you ever observed the afterlife?

Quote:
So is my faith in God unacceptable philosophically and why?

Yes.

Dictionary.com defines faith as:

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

Merriam-Webster's says:

1 a: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1): fidelity to one's promises (2): sincerity of intentions
2 a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction ; especially : a system of religious beliefs ..

When I discuss faith, I am talking about belief without evidence, as described by, "b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof." To make this clearer, if the belief in question cannot be held without faith or if any faith is needed to "supplement" the evidence for the belief to be plausible, then that faith is the faith I am referring to. This faith is an intellectual cop-out, a bridge across a chasm. It begins where knowledge is weak and emotions are allowed to roam freely and wreak havoc. By proclaiming that your beliefs are based on faith, you are admitting that these claims cannot be taken on their own merits (Dan Barker). Historians don't have faith that millions of Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust. Economists don't have faith that when the government prints too much money, it leads to inflation. Biologists don't have faith in common descent. Faith is not required to accept these things because the evidence for them is overwhelming.

If you believe something simply because you "have faith," that's the logical equivalent of believing something because you want to believe in it or because it makes you feel comfortable. If your belief is not based on logic and evidence, then your belief is just as likely to be true as any faith-based belief: astrology, scientology, geocentricism, etc. Faith based beliefs can cause you to blow yourself up, thinking that you'll receive 72 virgins in heaven. Faith based beliefs can cause you to hold that the Flintstones is a mostly accurate representation of human life several thousand years ago.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
gpaine9 wrote:I realize that

gpaine9 wrote:
I realize that the people on this site are probably used to creationists frantically quoting un-researched facts and Pascal's wager.

There are actually some decent apologists who come on here. Their arguments are all pretty wacky, but I guess that's apologetics for you.

gpaine9 wrote:
I am legitimately interested in being "converted" to an atheistic viewpoint if my current view is unacceptable.

I wouldn't go so far as to say "unacceptable" in any absolute sense. It's a bit disjointed and incoherent.

gpaine9 wrote:
However the existence of God is inherently philosophical rather than scientific so comparing the existence of God to the existence of orbiting teapots isn't a fair comparison.

That's if you believe that ontology can be solved philosophically, or by a more successful method than the scientific. Philosophically, you'd have trouble demonstrating a specific god, much less gods in general. Empirically, there are no gods, so ...

gpaine9 wrote:
I personally am not confused at all about who God is. I admit that I don't know everything there is to know about it but I wouldn't say I'm confused.

Can you describe God?

gpaine9 wrote:
I believe in God primarily because I think its good to have a source of hope for the future.

That's believing that it's good to have a source of hope for the future, though. That's not a positive belief in God. You'd just like to have hope for the future. I have hope for the future, but no gods. Does that seem odd to you?

gpaine9 wrote:
Theists allow for belief, without scientific proof, in God and what He promises. Humanism demands observation before something can be accepted (God isn't believed in because He hasn't been observed) [...] Humanism sounds attractive to me but its promise of hope, human beings achieving utopia, has never been observed and therefore should not be accepted according to its standards of acceptable truth.

You're mixing belief and hope in strange ways, here. If you want to know what is true, do you need to hope? No; hope has nothing to do with truth. So if you want to know the truth more than you want to hope, then you might change your beliefs (I don't mean you specifically -- that was the general "you&quotEye-wink. But if hope is more important than truth, then don't worry about it.

gpaine9 wrote:
So is my faith in God unacceptable philosophically and why?

Philosophically, you have an entity that escapes definition BY definition, inhabits a realm of non-existence (the non-physical), omnis itself into irrelevance (omnipotent, omniscient, omniwhatever), and never shows up ever.

So philosophically and realistically you have some difficulties. But you should try describing God, and see how difficult it becomes to do so in a coherent way.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence