Theists: It's irrelevant that you don't care.

Hambydammit
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Theists: It's irrelevant that you don't care.

 My new biggest pet peeve from theists happens in conversations about evidence for God.  Here's the typical exchange.

Theist:  Blah, blah, blah, blah, God, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Atheist:  So... what evidence do you have for your belief in God?

Theist: Offers one of the following:

     1. Intuition

     2. Kalam/Cosmological/First Cause

     3. Complexity of design

     4. Personal experience of "miracle."

     5. Argument from wonder

     6. insert any of the other twenty invalid arguments for god here.

Atheist:  Well, that's not evidence.  Those are bad philosophical arguments.  I was asking for actual evidence.

Theist:  Hey, guess what.  I don't care that you don't like my evidence.  I still love you.

 

Here's an example off of my favorite atheist blogger, Greta Christina's website:

Quote:
Hey Greta-

One thing you might be discounting in your pre-conceived notions of us "God-fearing peeps" is that some of us really don't care if you believe in God or not.

In fact, some of us (Libertarian-minded folk) are happy that you have the right and the freedom to feel the way you do in this country.

I find it humorous that your slant on religion relies heavily on the generalization that all God-believers are there to challenge you. Such arrogance!

Quite honestly, I have faith that one day, in your time of need; be it on a hospital bed when you're dying of cancer, or on a plane that is going down or just amongst your family when they surround you on your deathbed, you will think about what lies beyond.

Only then may you truly consider what you have to lose.

See, if religious-folk are wrong about heaven, no biggie. We all end up stone-cold dead, six-feet deep; atheists and religious alike. BUT....BUT, if athiests are wrong, they have f*cked up royally. Eternal damnation. Sweet.

Cheers!

 

 

Here's the thing.  That's just irrelevant emotionalism.  We aren't asking if you care that we don't believe.  That has nothing at all to do with it.  Whether you care if we believe or not, we care that you don't have any evidence for your beliefs.  That's the difference between you and us, you see.  We are firmly attached to the idea that science, reason, and evidence are the ONLY ways to know anything at all.  The fact that some of your fellow theists -- many, perhaps most of them -- are insistent on their beliefs being treated as if they are factually true makes it our business to question you.

The fact that we actually argue about things like "In God We Trust" and the teaching of creationism makes your beliefs our business.  When you piously assert your apathy, it doesn't help anything.  It just makes us all the more determined, since it ought to be obvious to anybody with half a social conscience that when your beliefs affect our lives, it is our business, and our epistemological right to demand evidence.

 


Atheistextremist
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Crikey Bob

 

I just don't know how you can stick at it so long. Another towering achievement. Do you feel you got what EJ's point ultimately was? It seemed to me he wanted to conduct the debate in a world of philosophical vagaries and each of the concrete examples you gave him were considered too basic to be taken seriously. Would a mighty god really hide himself in such a way that he could only be glanced at sideways like this?

It doesn't seem to me to the way an interventionist god would operate - even the OT god allegedly did actual stuff around the place that people see. Why is it so may theists so rapidly shove the argument into the philo morass? EJ is definitely a clever and engaging theist but his arguments are nothing you'd ever hear from the pulpit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:I

Atheistextremist wrote:

I just don't know how you can stick at it so long. Another towering achievement. Do you feel you got what EJ's point ultimately was? It seemed to me he wanted to conduct the debate in a world of philosophical vagaries and each of the concrete examples you gave him were considered too basic to be taken seriously. Would a mighty god really hide himself in such a way that he could only be glanced at sideways like this?

It doesn't seem to me to the way an interventionist god would operate - even the OT god allegedly did actual stuff around the place that people see. Why is it so may theists so rapidly shove the argument into the philo morass? EJ is definitely a clever and engaging theist but his arguments are nothing you'd ever hear from the pulpit.

Maybe I just really want to stick to Aquinas - I have had so many Theists praise him up over the years, I would like to make it as plain as possible the failings in his arguments. 

I would like to see the assumptions made in his arguments listed, so I can nail 'em...

And I would be best if a supporter puts them up, so I can't be accused of misrepresenting their hero.

I trust EJ will take this comment in the right spirit, seems to be quite unfazed by my more aggro remarks.

I am genuinely keen to nail this, one way or the other. Of course I have little doubt the way it will come out if EJ sticks to his guns....

 

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

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We may be able to

We may be able to short-circuit this debate on Aquinas.

If his contention that infinite causal chains of instrumental movers are impossible is an important part of his overall argument, then it fails right there.

I may still be interested seeing what other errors he may have made, but that assumption is simply and demonstrably invalid.

EDIT: 

If people defending Aquinas' argument were not sufficiently informed about math and energy to pick that error, there could well be other errors which would escape the notice of those whose expertise was only in philosophy or metaphysics.

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


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edejardin wrote:"Yeah, I

edejardin wrote:
"Yeah, I knew what the point you were making was, of course, I was just pointing out that one can't go from there to affirming the first cause argument regardless. So we're still left with the same problem that is the first cause argument being your typical example of the irrationality of apologetics." If it is irrational, it's not because it's question begging, which is the charge I was responding to. (Keep in mind that the comment you responded to was not an attempt to "affirm to first cause argument regardless," but to counter a specific charge against it, viz. the charge that it's question begging.) Hambydammit claimed that the first premise assumed the conclusion; my demonstration that the first premise is consistent with both the conclusion *and* the negation of the conclusion refutes his criticism. However, you're wrong to claim that I couldn't "go from there" to "affirm the first cause argument." I couldn't do so if I was claiming that (5) is true, *but that wasn't my claim*. Rather, all I said is that the first premise is consistent with (5), and I could certainly go from there to "affirm the first cause argument" without contradiction.

 

Then you'd have to refute that the first premise of the first cause argument is -"Every finite and contingent being has a cause" - as of that we'd be having a different argument, right?

 

Out of curiosity, which option in Hamby's list would you affirm, then?

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edejardin
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"Maybe I just really want to

"Maybe I just really want to stick to Aquinas - I have had so many Theists praise him up over the years, I would like to make it as plain as possible the failings in his arguments.
I would like to see the assumptions made in his arguments listed, so I can nail 'em...
And I would be best if a supporter puts them up, so I can't be accused of misrepresenting their hero."

Bob, this sounds like a good idea. If you'd like, I'd be willing to go through Aquinas's First Way step by step, premise by premise, assumption by assumption, concept by concept, right to the conclusion. It would take a while to do this, and I can't guarantee a post/response each day on the topic (though I think I can guarantee a couple a week at a minimum -- sort of like a chess-by-mail game), but I think it would be fun and informative for both of us. I'm sure I'd learn quite a bit from you, and I'd hope to present you with a new idea here and there too. If you're interested, let me know, and I'll write a post with some ground-clearing in it (what the argument claims to show, what I mean when I say an argument is good, etc.) so we can get underway.

Edejardin


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I can't speak for Bob

I can't speak for Bob obviously, but I can guarantee much interest in such a topic. May I suggest starting a topic on the matter in atheist vs theist or kill 'em with kindness? If you're pressed for time, you can ask people to hold off on responses until you're done. I'm relatively sure that administration would be willing to help ensure that the topic remains untouched until you're ready for points to be challenged, with an appropriate thread title such as "work in progress" or some such.

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Hambydammit
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 Quote:I can't speak for

 

Quote:
I can't speak for Bob obviously, but I can guarantee much interest in such a topic. May I suggest starting a topic on the matter in atheist vs theist or kill 'em with kindness? If you're pressed for time, you can ask people to hold off on responses until you're done. I'm relatively sure that administration would be willing to help ensure that the topic remains untouched until you're ready for points to be challenged, with an appropriate thread title such as "work in progress" or some such.

I'm pretty sure we have a forum that would be suitable for this.  Then again, Sapient has been messing with the forums, so I'm not sure.  I'm slammed until Monday, but I'll be happy to look into it then.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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BobSpence
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edejardin wrote:"Maybe I

edejardin wrote:
"Maybe I just really want to stick to Aquinas - I have had so many Theists praise him up over the years, I would like to make it as plain as possible the failings in his arguments. I would like to see the assumptions made in his arguments listed, so I can nail 'em... And I would be best if a supporter puts them up, so I can't be accused of misrepresenting their hero." Bob, this sounds like a good idea. If you'd like, I'd be willing to go through Aquinas's First Way step by step, premise by premise, assumption by assumption, concept by concept, right to the conclusion. It would take a while to do this, and I can't guarantee a post/response each day on the topic (though I think I can guarantee a couple a week at a minimum -- sort of like a chess-by-mail game), but I think it would be fun and informative for both of us. I'm sure I'd learn quite a bit from you, and I'd hope to present you with a new idea here and there too. If you're interested, let me know, and I'll write a post with some ground-clearing in it (what the argument claims to show, what I mean when I say an argument is good, etc.) so we can get underway.

Ok then.

It will be curious to see how Aquinas constructs something from nothing.... the nothingness that is the Cosmological argument , and the ignorance and error that was the knowledge of the nature of the Universe and physics at the time.

At least it isn't the Ontological argument, which is proof that Theology is a hazard to mental health. 

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


Hambydammit
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 Quote:At least it isn't

 

Quote:
At least it isn't the Ontological argument, which is proof that Theology is a hazard to mental health.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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edejardin
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"If you're pressed for time,

"If you're pressed for time, you can ask people to hold off on responses until you're done."

I would certainly appreciate it if everyone countenanced my responding only to Bob's posts as we work our way through the argument, though I of course have no problem with him picking up on ideas and criticisms other people present. I suppose I'd suggest proceeding like this: After we get through the ground-clearing post (which I hope to have finished this weekend), I'll lay out the argument one premise at a time. We can start with the first premise and, as Bob said, "keep digging." When (if?) we're satisfied with a premise -- that is, that a particular formulation and understanding of a premise is true (or whatever standard we agree to; see the ground-clearing post to come for details) -- we can move on to the next premise, and continue until (if?) we reach the end of the argument. Once (if?) we come to an agreement about the premises (concerning their formulations, their truth or falsity, the meaning of the terms, an agreement about their assumptions, etc.) we can focus on the logical structure of the argument to see if there are any fallacies. Anyway, that's my suggestion. If anyone knows a better way to proceed, please let me know, and we'll discuss it.

Oh, and as I said, I personally have no problem with keeping the thread open to everyone, as long as it's understood I'll only be responding to the points Bob raises. As I see it, this will help focus the discussion while at the same time keeping it open to anyone with a great point to make (though Bob will have to agree that it's a good point and include it in his posts; otherwise, I won't respond to it; perhaps, as we proceed, I could try to keep track of any good criticisms that go unnoticed and give a brief response to them when we're finished).

Edejardin


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BobSpence1 wrote:And

BobSpence1 wrote:

And therefore irrelevant to even an approximation to Truth, that Science pursues - rather just pure speculation and personal subjective opinion and intuition....

 

Abuse is not limited to any one group. I suppose theists do it most blatantly, though.

 

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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Hambydammit wrote: Quote:At

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
At least it isn't the Ontological argument, which is proof that Theology is a hazard to mental health.

 

 

I suppose we need to build more mental hospitals then. Or maybe convert religious centers in to mental hospitals....

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


BobSpence
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ubuntuAnyone

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
At least it isn't the Ontological argument, which is proof that Theology is a hazard to mental health.

 

 

I suppose we need to build more mental hospitals then. Or maybe convert religious centers in to mental hospitals....

Luckily it is the sort of lunacy which doesn't represent a physical hazard to people around them, more like the guy in the park wandering around talking to himself, at least in the case of actual Theologians.

It does represent a threat to society in general, of course - having a formal 'discipline' still practiced based on such stupidity contributes to giving religious ideas way more respectability than they deserve. Which is none.

Anyway, the move these days has been long been to not lock the mentally ill away unless absolutely necessary, ie where they really are a direct threat to those around them or themselves.

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


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BobSpence1 wrote:Luckily it

BobSpence1 wrote:

Luckily it is the sort of lunacy which doesn't represent a physical hazard to people around them, more like the guy in the park wandering around talking to himself, at least in the case of actual Theologians.

It does represent a threat to society in general, of course - having a formal 'discipline' still practiced based on such stupidity contributes to giving religious ideas way more respectability than they deserve. Which is none.

Anyway, the move these days has been long been to not lock the mentally ill away unless absolutely necessary, ie where they really are a direct threat to those around them or themselves.

 Crazy world. Some theist think that atheism is a mental illness.

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”